SALESFUEL TODAY

Are You In Danger of Becoming a Martyr?

by | 3 minute read

Your team is looking up to you for leadership and inspiration. Are you providing what they need? It’s not easy to be a manager or leader in a quickly changing business world. If you find yourself working too hard, you could be in danger of becoming a toxic manager.

We all want to be valued employees. As managers, we might have our eye on a c-suite position. We might also believe that we need to be seen as super busy and super involved by the higher-ups. But there’s a limit. Melody Wilding cautions that when we work too hard, we could cross the line.

Certain kinds of individuals have the tendency to become martyrs. They often exhibit, says Wilding, “low confidence, poor self-esteem, and have a tendency to be people pleasers – putting other’s needs before their own.” 

What to Watch For

If you find yourself eating lunch at your desk every day, replying to emails immediately or talking about work at every social function, it’s time for a reset. When you become a martyr, no matter what your intentions may be, other behaviors will also appear. You’ll begin judging others who don’t seem to be working as hard as you. And if you don’t get the kind of feedback you think you deserve, you’ll fixate on it endlessly.

How to Fix The Problem

Before long, your martyr behavior will impact the performance of your team. Nobody wants to hear you complaining. Your team members look to you for inspiration. The next time you hear negativity in your words, stop yourself.

Give yourself a time out and assess your situation. Is it absolutely crucial that you be the team member who gets that report out every week at 5:00? Or is there someone in your department who could handle the task and wants a little professional development? By allocating more tasks to individuals, you’ll allow them to enhance their skills. You’ll also look like a great manager who is paying attention to everyone’s needs, not your own.  

How to Avoid Hiring A Martyr

Martyrs can also sneak through the doors of any workplace. And they’ll infect other team members with their negativity. “The martyr is low energy and pouts when feeling sidelined or overlooked. They complain constantly to those they think will sympathize with them,” says C. Lee Smith, CEO of SalesFuel. Smith is one of the co-developers of Toxicity Indexing. This SalesFuel COACH feature allows hiring managers to compare a job candidate’s profile to job-toxic personality types most common among destructive salespeople. If you’re about to hire new sales reps, check out the SalesFuel COACH features before you make an offer you might regret.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.