When people step into leadership, they need to be prepared to be, misunderstood, criticized, disparaged, judged and wronged. It goes with the territory. Dan Rockwell shares what to do when people lie about you and other wrongs you may experience as a leader.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Feeling wronged begins when you’re in diapers.

Remember that look of betrayal your son or daughter gave you when they got their first shot in the doctor’s office. Things go downhill from there.

It’s easy to feel wronged when you’re a leader because the actions of others reflect on your performance. We say, “I’m disappointed,” but sometimes we mean, “You wronged me.”

You feel wronged when people:

  1. Lie about your motives. Some people assume you’re acting selfishly when you’re trying to help.
  2. Carelessly drop the ball. Some people don’t realize their poor performance reflects on them AND you.
  3. Backstab you for personal advantage.
  4. Judge you based on partial information. Keeping confidences means you make decisions others may not understand.

Responding to feeling wronged:

At first blush, disappointment turns to pain and self-justification. The people who wrong you deserve to be attacked.

A person who feels wronged justifies doing wrong.

First responses to feeling wronged are self-sabotage.

  1. Pulling back.
  2. Paying back.
  3. Manipulating and deceiving.
  4. Backstabbing.
  5. Stealing.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Some people die with old wounds gnawing at their hearts. Resentment makes wounds hurt more.

A person who handles wrongs wrongly hangs on to offenses in order to justify wrong behavior.

How to deal with being wronged:

  1. Never justify doing wrong with someone else’s offenses. Do the right thing because it’s who you are.
  2. Notice your language. Repeatedly talking about the offenses of others is self-justification in disguise.
  3. Unrequested forgiveness cleanses your soul. (Forgiveness is never deserved. Forgiveness is an event and a process. You may need to forgive many times.)
  4. What part might you have played in the wrong?
  5. Hold people accountable for their good, not your revenge.