Wednesday, October 20

The ostrich boss | The NY Journal

It is the leader’s job to detect these toxic attitudes and not pretend nothing is happening. Pretending that the problem does not exist, that it is normal, or that it will pass is ostrich behavior that can lead your company to have serious difficulties, not only legal but performance. I call this Chief Ostrich.

The best and richest companies are those that are made up of people with diverse ideas, ages, gender, origin, culture, training, skills, experience … But these types of corporations must have a clear common principle: respect for others.

To achieve a company where each person feels comfortable, free to express themselves, full to develop their creativity and happy to be a member of a team with a common goal, it is necessary to:

Schedule group meetings. They must be frequent, well in person, well virtual, but all at the same time. For example, on a weekly basis, they should talk openly about what has been the best since the last meeting, what has gone wrong in each department, what solution they see, what they propose for the next seven days, etc.

Establish individual encounters. There are topics that people do not want to discuss in a group, so it is especially important to talk with each one in private and remember that, if one party does not request it, the other must take the step to meet.

Provide training in emotions. Many people are prejudiced by their education that are intolerable in today’s world. Having differences in political, religious or social opinions is normal and healthy; luckily, we don’t all think the same. But what cannot be admitted is a work environment discriminatory or contrary to the code of good practices of each corporation. Plurality is good for people, who learn to respect the other, to argue, to defend themselves, to live together and to establish relationships above ideas.

And diversity is also good for the company, because it allows discovering new points of view, generating divergences in the way of approaching work and contemplating the different visions that clients might have. But any corporate disparity must lead to the best way to achieve objectives and not to the division of the team. Prevent battles with emotion training and conflict management is a safe investment.

Don’t look the other way. The leader is there to mediate, see if there are unmet needs (such as an unfair lack of recognition), ask each person how they think the issue could be resolved, study their alternatives before deciding on the solution, try to reach a joint agreement and then communicate to everyone, and not just those involved, what was agreed.

Problems arise in any human group and it is the leader’s job to detect obstacles to cooperation and teamwork without neglecting people. The great Joseph Conrad, who so well conveyed emotions in his literature, said something that should be obvious to us: “Facing, always facing, is the way to solve the problem. Confront him!

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