Dismantling Dysfunction

Dismantling Dysfunction

A podcast series for anyone who experiences dysfunction in organizations, leadership, or in relationships. Join organizational development and behavioral change experts Dr. Anne Dranitsaris and Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard weekly as they introduce you to the most common dysfunctions in organizations and help you dismantle them by delving into the systemic causes behind them and telling you exactly what to do about it. Because of their more than 70 combined years of working with leaders and organizations, nationally and internationally, of all sizes and dysfunctions, there aren’t too many that they don’t have experience with. In these uncertain times, it’s no wonder most organizations suffer from a myriad of dysfunctions and people issues they have no idea how to deal with. Too often, leaders go for the quick fix, leaving the root causes of the dysfunction shooting up in another area just as the last symptom has been dealt with. This results in disengaged employees, loss of high performers, poor productivity, and an unhealthy bottom line. No matter the size of the organization, any dysfunction is systemic and requires a holistic approach to rooting out and dismantling its cause. Otherwise, you’ll stay with the whack-a-mole approach, dealing with pop up symptoms without changing anything. As experts in the neuropsychology of personality and leadership, Anne & Heather have co-authored and written almost 100 books, created the Striving Styles Personality System® and developed life-changing programs that help leaders and employees work to their potential. They add depth and breadth to their work because of their commitment to meeting the needs of their clients and passion for achieving potential – their clients and their own. Their clients often come to them when they have tried other consultants to help them deal with their dysfunctions. Too often consultants use a one-size fits all and tries to make the clients problem fit their packaged solution. With Anne & Heather, it’s the other way around. They look deeply into the psychology, structure, and functions of the client’s business, what they are trying to achieve, then they assess functionality and see what’s getting in the way of its potential. Once they identify the root cause of the dysfunction, they bring a variety of solutions - strategy facilitation, leadership development programs, performance management, reward & retention strategies, career progressions, and so much more to transition the client’s organization from dysfunction to functionality. If your organization’s fiscal health and human resources are suffering because of common organizational dysfunctions and you need help, this show is for you. If you’re dealing with the symptoms of one or more of these dysfunctions, such as disengaged employees, loss of high performers, poor productivity, lack of accountability or a failure to achieve organizational goals leading to an unhealthy bottom line, you’ll gain insight into why what you’ve been doing to date hasn’t worked and what to do about it. Heather and Anne bring organizational and leadership dysfunctions to life through client stories that illustrate how they delve into the organizations psychology and cultural norms to see how the lack of systems, fixed beliefs, and egos of the leaders contribute to it. Each episode in the series contains powerful information to help you dismantle the dysfunction in your organization, increasing productivity, improving employee engagement, and achieving your organizational outcomes. You’ll leave each show armed with a new tool for dismantling the dysfunction in your organization. To continue the conversation, please visit our website at https://www.dranitsaris-hilliard.com where you can sign up for our newsletter. And, if you’d like to learn more about Dismantling Dysfunction, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/c/dranitsarishilliard.


November 29, 2022 48 min

Did you know that the bossy, selfish friend or partner you always complain about is likely codependent? If you answered no, you aren't alone. People who use dominant codependent behaviours, especially controlling behaviors, look the same and act the same as narcissistic people at times. That’s because we don’t give them the same empathy or compassion as “nice” submissive codependents. Instead, most people react to them by vilif...

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Does this sound familiar? Despite doing all you can to hold your relationship together, and everything you’ve sacrificed to make it work, it’s still dysfunctional and you're still miserable. The more you try to “fix” your partner or figure out new ways of approaching them to change their behavior, the worse it gets. Frustrating, isn’t it? That’s because while we try to rescue our partner, child or friend and fix the relationshi...

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Narcissists aren’t the only people who are manipulative. It’s a primary Codependent Strategy used to control and dominate in a codependent relationship. The use of indirect communication and manipulation to get their own way, including pouting, guilting, becoming outraged or indignant, devaluing and gaslighting to name a few tactics make the other person submit because they feel so bad about themselves.

We don't often think of ...

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November 8, 2022 38 min

Would you consider yourself codependent? When asked that question, some people will say yes, and others will say, no, but I think my partner is. Most of the time we equate Codependency with a clingy, needy person who takes a lot of abuse from their partner, boss, children, and friends. We may think of Codependency as the peacekeeper in relationships, putting needs aside and taking care of others or of someone who constantly blabber...

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Some people identify as procrastinators, some as perfectionists. And still, others - as risk averse. These proclamations are usually made when someone is asked to do something that feels scary or out of their comfort zone. They expect others to simply accept that this is who they are and to respect their "boundaries" despite the commitments they may have made. These same people feel powerless to do anything about their own ...

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We are sure most people would agree that it’s absolutely horrifying when competent and accomplished adults resort to childish behavior, like having temper tantrums, sulking, pretending nothing is their fault, or shifting the blame to others for their mistakes, to name a few. Yet we all do it - and don’t think for a moment you don’t!

All of us can abdicate responsibility or blame others in situations that make us feel insecure or em...

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If there is anyone in your life who tends to agree with you when you know they disagree, you’re acquainted with the Prostitute Archetype (before you say anything – as you likely got caught off guard after reading that - when we talk about the Prostitute Archetype it’s NOT related to sex!). People using this Archetype believe it's a whole lot safer if they just keep their mouths shut. It’s true that everyone does this to a certa...

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We all know people who always seem to be victims of someone or some situation. People who blame others when disappointing or frustrating things happen to them or even when they make a mistake. They don’t discriminate and will blame their boss, peers, direct reports, family, partner, children - anyone is subject to their ability to spin a story to make it look like they are the victims while they in fact are victimizing others.

But ...

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Complain, complain, complain... We hear an endless myriad of complaints these days from leaders who believe that disengagement, lack of quality, poor work ethic, and entitled behaviors are the employee's fault, and they have no power to do anything about it. When and why did leaders become so disempowered?

It seems that leadership powerlessness may have slowly crept in over the last decade on the heels of the popularity of the ...

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Why is it that leaders keep themselves so busy that they don't have time to deal with their people? And why, despite their position of power, do leaders struggle with asserting their authority and managing the performance of their employees?

It is all too common for employees to bring their personal issues to work with the expectation that their boss will take special care of them. This form of employee entitlement has some lea...

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In today’s workplaces, accountability has become part of a leader's role they increasingly avoid.  They avoid difficult conversations, let employees miss deadlines and waste precious time and resources, all to the detriment of the organization. Impulsiveness, entitlement and emotions which create more drama than results are no longer held in check by leaders who are supposed to be managing and developing performance. Everyone i...

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Today, leaders complain about employees not being accountable for getting things done. But is it really the employee or is it the issue that leaders don't hold themselves accountable for managing the performance of their direct reports? Our experience is that many leaders don't define tasks in a clear manner, leaving employees lost and confused about their expectations. And they fail to follow up to see how the employee is ...

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Increasingly, leaders today are complaining about employee entitlement and dysfunctional entitled behavior. They fail to realize how their leadership might contribute to this entitlement. Instead, they judge the behavior of their direct reports and make excuses for them instead of dealing with the actual issue.


A few generations of employees have been brought up to believe they'll be rewarded for just showing up. They get anx...

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August 16, 2022 33 min

Ever worked for an organization that had no cross-departmental communication or information sharing between departments? The notion that power struggles simply cannot exist between functional areas of an organization is absurd. The unfortunate truth is, it’s human nature for leaders to behave this way, and the longer this counterproductive structure exists in an organization, the harder it is to break it down.

When senior leaders p...

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August 2, 2022 36 min

Leaders today act as though it isn't their job to keep their complex organizations moving in alignment. All too often, leaders let employees do things ‘their way’ in hopes that this will motivate them or somehow enable them to work more efficiently. The result? Silent chaos in the workplace.


Clearly, there is a lack of understanding of the chaos that this type of leadership thinking creates. Since when are the ego needs of em...

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Do performance management discussions get in the way of the “real work”? (Sorry, it’s a trick question.) Leaders who agree with this idea are missing the point. They’re holding on to a mindset that keeps them from fully embracing the true responsibility of their roles: to lead people.

Leadership demands the use of foreign and uncomfortable relational competencies. And focusing on the “real work” keeps underdeveloped leaders feeling...

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Have you ever worked for a boss who reminded you of your mother or another overly nurturing family member? You know, the boss who always wants you to share what’s going on with you personally… The boss who gives unsolicited advice or tells you how to do something that you already know how to do… Leaders like this foster dependence on themselves by using feelings and empathy to lead - instead of expectations and feedback. These lead...

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Whether it’s because they’re simply “too busy” or just nowhere to be found, some leaders never seem to be around when you need them. And on the rare occasion that they can be pinned down, they’ll dip, duck, dodge, and dive all your questions, leaving you without an answer to your burning issue. It seems like they’re not only avoiding you, but avoiding their responsibility to make decisions as well…

Frustrating, right? This is the A...

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“The last time I gave my direct report a little corrective feedback it didn’t go so well… The next thing I knew, they were storming out the door in tears. I’m just going to stick to saying nothing at all and let employees figure things out on their own.”

So many leaders today are adopting the Permissive Leadership Persona because they don’t know how to set their employees up to receive corrective feedback, or how to address their e...

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Being bossy comes naturally to many people. Consequently, these people are promoted to senior leadership roles because they make things happen using the strength of their personalities. These "bossy” bosses can be very effective at using force and directive language to get things done. They climb the organizational ladder because they excel at delivering results despite their undeveloped people leadership skills. Because they a...

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