Ambush meetings, toxic work cultures, & hostile work environments

#LeadershipDevelopment #Organizational Development #CorporateCulture

Ambush meetings are a hallmark of toxic work cultures, poor leadership, and create hostile work environments. When bosses ambush employees in meetings, they typically do so in a way that takes the employee by surprise and leaves them feeling unprepared.

When bosses ambush employees in meetings, they typically do so by springing unexpected topics on their employees and expecting immediate responses, often with little advice or guidance on how to answer the questions. This approach can leave employees feeling unprepared, confused, and intimidated. It can also be intimidating for employees to be put on the spot in a group setting, making them feel singled out or judged. This type of ambush can create an atmosphere of distrust and resentment, making it difficult for employees to speak openly and honestly. This type of meeting usually involves topics not discussed ahead of time, such as announcing a new project or demanding an explanation for a mistake. The boss may also criticize the employee's performance or ask questions that put the employee on the defensive. The goal of this type of meeting is to put the employee in a difficult position and gain the upper hand. The resulting conversation can be awkward, uncomfortable, with a goal of leaving the employee confused and powerless.

The first con of ambushing employees in meetings is that it can be seen as a form of bullying. When an employee is unexpectedly brought into a meeting and is not given the opportunity to prepare, it can be viewed as intimidation experience. It can also be seen as a way to threaten and control the employee, making them feel like they are not valued or respected. This can have a very negative impact on employee morale, which can lead to decreased productivity and a decrease in the overall quality of work.

Another con of ambushing employees in meetings is that it can lead to a decrease in creativity and collaboration. When an employee is ambushed in a meeting, they may be too intimidated to share their ideas and participate in the discussion. This can lead to a lack of creative solutions to problems and can prevent new ideas from being explored. As a result, it can limit the effectiveness of the team and the organization as a whole.

Ambushing employees in meetings can be seen as unprofessional and can damage the company’s reputation. If an employee feels that they are being bullied or not respected, they may choose to take their concerns to their peers or even the media. This can create a negative image for the organization and may make other employees reluctant to join the company. Additionally, it can impact the overall public opinion of the organization, which could lead to a decrease in customers and profits.

If your goal as a leader is to create a hostile work environment, create a toxic work culture , and open your organization to liabilities and risk, continue ambushing employees. However, if you'd like to create the opposite, notify your employees of the meeting's date and time, the purpose of the meeting and provide them adequate time to prepare. Ask yourself if you would want anything less.