Have You Been “Dissed” at Work?

Not too long ago, I overheard someone complaining to a co-worker that he was upset because he felt that he had been “dissed.”  Hmmm – really? Dissed? Sounded bad and though I sensed that I knew what he must have meant, I had to check my slang dictionary to be sure.  I was right – he had been disrespected – dissed, in fact. And to be dissed at work is an especially cruel fate. One’s pride is threatened, while at the same time one’s confidence is shaken. Being dissed is never good, but being dissed as a leader in the workplace? Well, it made me think of all the other “disses” one could endure.  Let’s see how many YOU can handle:

Have you been “dissed” at work?

Have you ever felt distressed by the thought of having to be an unpopular leader and disappointed in yourself for being dishonest in your own self-assessment, discovering too late that you may not be the leader you thought you were or wanted to be?

Did it disturb you to have to disrupt your daily routine to discuss your dissatisfaction with one of your subordinates or, worse, your boss?

Even when someone in a position of trust was disloyal to you or your organization, you may have been so disconnected from the staff or your team that you discouraged honest interaction and feedback.  What you got, instead, was dishonesty, or at most, disingenuous feedback – telling you only what you wanted to hear. How disquieting to find that disharmony had existed all along, and you were blissfully unaware because of your disjointed approach to leading, mentoring and managing.

Did you ever just want to disappear when a disaster was looming, knowing that discharging your leadership responsibilities could leave you disaffected from your co-workers and teammates?

And oh, the resulting disorientation by all concerned because of your discombobulated attempt to dispel rumors – rumors that initially caused disarray, disbelief and discomfort!

As a young man and new leader, I remember being discouraged and distraught at the thought of being the cause of discord among an already disengaged and disillusioned staff.

The disdain and disapproval I risked was disconcerting, of course; yet I knew that I would have to discard my faulty approach that had so obviously put me at a disadvantage. In fact, I was disabled in terms of reaching out to my team and getting the best I could from them.

Discord mounted. Disobedience was followed by dissent.

I tried not to be dispirited by the disrespect and discourteousness of my once loyal team.

I had nearly brought about dishonor on myself and could no longer pretend that it was a mere distortion.  I could not disregard these signs and the growing evidence that I was, in fact, very dispensable.

Dissatisfied with my performance as a leader, displeased by my own dissonant sense of self-worth, I made the commitment to change – to grow and to try to be the leader I always thought I could be.

Work hard, be fair, be honest, and take care of those in your charge, and you will avoid being dissed at work in the future.

Dave served a full 22-year career as an Army officer and followed that with more than 2 decades as a senior executive in several consulting firms in the Northern Virginia area. He has managed and led thousands of soldiers, Army civilians, and private sector employees in more than 43 years in leadership positions. He speaks and writes about leadership, relationship management, career transition, and keys to success.  READ MORE

David S. Maurer

Lieutenant Colonel, USA (Ret.) , Project Management Professional (PMP)



Books By Dave

Watering Rocks - How to Fail and Succeed as a Leader - Book by David S. Maurer
Leadership Essentials - How to Lead with Passion, Pride and Purpose - Book by David S. Maurer