10 counter-intuitive leadership behaviours that create unpleasant feelings and embarrassment in very diverse global organizations

In the many years of practicing OD worldwide, my Asia and Mid East clients have taught me about ten leadership behaviors which can cause unpleasant feelings, severe embarrassment and shame.

  1. When someone in a very senior position asks for an opinion,  whilst he himself is the one who is supposed to know and tell the employees what to do
  2. When a senior leader praises what a younger team member says more than he praises the younger team member’s boss.
  3. When we are asked to advocate our ideas with people senior to us.
  4. When we are pushed to “speak up” in a language in which we feel uncomfortable.
  5. When facilitators ask us to be “open”.
  6. When we laugh while we are serious.
  7. Formality is to be  put aside so we can have a discussion of equals.
  8. When there is a hidden message-when you “improve,” you will behave like us.
  9. When very senior management dresses too informally.
  10. When we are forced to talk one at a time.

If you were surprised, take my test to check out your global mindset.

PS

Dear reader, In order to clean up the spam, all blog subscriptions were deleted and a new subscription system installed. Please re register on the right side/bottom of the blog – sorry for the trouble. Allon

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7 thoughts on “10 counter-intuitive leadership behaviours that create unpleasant feelings and embarrassment in very diverse global organizations

  1. Alan, I’ve been mulling very hard on your list. And I must say I’m still not confident, in my own mind, that I’m not missing the point! I say that because I’ve been shaking my head and thinking: Is he being serious that, for example, “When a leaders praises what a younger team member says more than he praised what the boss said.” is a cause of shame and embarrassment!! Are you implying that younger team members cannot/do not sasy things that deserve more praise than what their bosses of say???

  2. Don’t you rather mean that a younger person may say something that’s more insightful or praiseworthy than a senior leader, but to preserve honor and appropriateness of relationships all around – including for the younger person – the lion’s share of the praise goes to the senior leader.

  3. What finesse, Tom. Your comment brings a level of distinction that is key to Allon’s point. I, for one, fell into the trap of praising the value-added of a younger staff member BEFORE her VP got to it during a project meeting. Little did I know of the strained relationship into which my well intentioned comment fell into. Since then, I have been less hasty.
    Lévis

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