Published on 2012/04/26

When leaders “speak badly”; I wonder if the economic and opportunity cost of this kind of behavior is every considered? Kind words can go a long way and it really doesn’t cost that much to use or say them. As a matter of fact, kind words can be motivating and add value to the organization, its productive process and its people. Employees are confronted with so much (think the housing crisis, childcare, college cost and more) outside of work that to have to confront incompetent leadership and similar challenges in work can be troubling. People spend an enormous amount of time on the job, at least leaders have a responsibility to attempt to make the workplace kinder, gentler and more responsive to their most vital asset they have in their employ – human resources. There are costs associated with lackluster leadership. These are noted with increased apathy, attrition, marginalization, creative stagnation, cronyism among other workplace dysfunctions.

Organizations must be intentional in managing these activities in their organizations to ensure that they are kept at a minimum. This can only happen if employees feel safe in sharing about their inappropriate encounters with the leader in question. By increasing employees’ perceptions that it is the right course of action to hold that leader accountable for his or her behavior through proper channels set by the organization is an important step in affirming safety. This is the only way to stop these kinds of dehumanizing behaviors and encourage fairness, wholesome development and community building in organizations. Thus, I believe that a forum like the Issues Forum has immense utility, especially when trying to resolve complex matters with universal implications. The Issues Forum affords many opportunities to hear from multiple perspectives and then analyze contributions from a diverse constituent grouping. I am of the opinion that to best facilitate this process, required a knowledgeable leader of the process, inclusivity and some baseline guidelines for how the forum will unfold and how the group will interact. Also, with regards to the leader, I believe he or she must be in tune to some of the dynamics of the group since there are some members that might conceptualize their thoughts differently relative to others in the group. This brings in to question, the idea that everyone learn and respond to the world differently and somehow, there ought to be a way to enjoin all the participants regardless of their learning and participation styles, the content of their organizational experiences.

“The Issues Forum” is powerful for many reasons. The potential of this kind of forum in shaping policy and transforming people lives in organizations are immense. Hence, I think if this was a real forum, it is important to put some forethought into formulating ideas prior to attending such a forum. Also, many ideas are generated and are rolled up into three or four main themes. This is good, but I am also of the opinion that other ideas should undergird the three or four main themes; therefore these ideas should be preserved and used in evaluating the pros and cons of each of the issues presented.

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Readers Comments

Rebecca Cruser 2012/04/26 at 10:51 am

It’s clear from this that everyone has space to learn – even corporate executives sitting in their leather chairs.

Skill development refers to more than just how-to skills, they also involve soft skills like communication, management and motivation.

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