Dwindling, Undermining and Uplifting: 2 Dangerous Leadership Styles to Avoid.

Posted on 17th September 2021

Over years of working with leaders, there are often many different motivations and characteristics that come to the fore in their leadership style.  Some leaders struggle to see the impact they have on others in their business. There is a direct cause and effect in leadership style, and team dynamics. A leader can dwindle, uplift, or undermine. It’s also easy to be oblivious to how certain practices or omission can impact on even the leader’s experience as a leader.

It’s an analysis that requires self-awareness and rigour.


In this context, dwindling is where you experience a tangible reduction in your leadership capabilities and feel decreasing confidence in your decisions.

There are 2 main causes of this.

1. Failing to network/or inadequate networking.

If you are stuck in your own echo chamber, you don’t have objective voice, you don’t gain new insights and therefore you don’t grow. Networking increases connections and gives access to people we may not necessarily meet.

2. Not investing in a reflective space

It’s very easy to just keep going, working to targets and the tangibles.  This leadership style can create insular organisations, that are not encouraged to self-reflect. This can make, you, your team and business out of touch.  It may also mean, not investing in evaluation.

The danger with this type of leadership is that is creates a small world with very transactional interactions, no space for networking and tends to cause team members to feel diminished and insular.


An undermining culture is notable for taking self-depreciation and negative banter to the next level. Leaders in this scenario, do not praise effort, they focus on what is wrong. They tend to be more vocal about mistakes and encourage a culture where people are afraid to take risks.

Leaders tend to project what they feel, a leader that undermines may themselves be lacking in confidence and have low self-worth and find it easier to mock than praise.

This risk averse environment discourages, innovation and experimentation.

It is not uncommon for there to be poor team dynamics and some toxicity if this continues unchecked.

So how do you avoid these pitfalls?

Become an intentional ‘Uplifter’.  This may sound trite but it’s a strategy that can be transformative.

§  Start with yourself, commit to uplifting yourself as a leader by learning more about yourself, and your leadership style

§  Learn more about your team

§  Learn more about your sector and your peers

§  Celebrate the wins of your team

§  Create a reflective culture where people can take risks and grow

§  Monitor your attitude to mistakes, are you a harsh critic or do you accept that we all make mistakes and can learn from these?

§  Invest in networking, mentoring and/or peer support

At DDC, we run programmes to support leaders to enhance their effectiveness and to help managers accelerate their careers, to find out more, subscribe to our mailing list here http://eepurl.com/hBe2Br and we’ll send you information about our latest offers.  

For female business owners we are starting a Dyna Dev Club a safe space for open conversations about you and your business. Email us to find out more info@dynamicdevelopmentconsulting.co.uk

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