If you’re flexible, rigid people seem pigheaded, narrow minded, and self-centered. Why can’t everyone be flexible like you?
Rigid people drive the train:
If you have an inflexible boss or team member, they always drive the train.
- Fear of offending them controls interactions.
- Tough conversations always go one way. Everything is about winning or losing.
- Violating the “rules” is a capital offense. Throwing people under the bus may become a means of control.
Change, innovation, and progress slow to a snail’s pace when rigid people drive the train.
Stability is the advantage of rigidity.
Organizations need rigid people even if some think they’re evil. You don’t need the dark-side of their strength. But without them, inconsistency escalates into instability.
Sure, they stress themselves and others. They complain about missed commons. But, they’re great at following procedures and delivering consistent results.
Inflexible people love systems that prevent failure.
What if your boss is inflexible?
- Adapt to them. They won’t adapt to you. No one likes to be changed – especially an inflexible boss. They’ll lash out like caged animals if you pressure them.
- Admire their strengths and say so. Say, “Your personal consistency brings stability and consistency to our organization.”
- Accept, embrace, and answer their discomforts or fears. Telling them that things will work out drives rigid people crazy.
- Prepare them for change. Don’t surprise them. Discuss problems before solutions.
- Establish rituals and routines. Don’t addd stress to their stressful lives.
What suggestions do you have for navigating an inflexible boss or teammate?