Dealing with the cynicism encountered with managers from Former Soviet Union (FSU)

In my previous post, I pointed out some of the characteristics I have encountered in managers from the FSU with whom I work .

In this post, I will provide 3 tips on how to deal with the cynicism, which can be tough to take for western yes-we-can OD consultant/manager.

1) There is no need to counter every cynical remark that is made. Just listen to  these comments as “this can be tough”. It’s often no more than that.

2) Use these cynical comments as a springboard to work out a rational set of risk mitigation tactics.

3) When a very, very cynical person comes your way (and they do exist), use a paradoxical intervention, such as “So there is nothing to do, we need to avoid wasting out time”. I have been surprised at how well this has worked.

I train managers and consultants to better manage folks from FSU. Lot of what you need to do can be counterintuitive, so it takes time.

If you succeed, you will generally have a hard working and dedicated resource on your team, albeit cynical.


3 thoughts on “Dealing with the cynicism encountered with managers from Former Soviet Union (FSU)

  1. Is the cynicism you faced the fruits of years of response to a regime of fear and despotism, i.e. a phenomenon emerging from a historical period likely to disappear over time or is was this trait present in other historical periods. Just curious.

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