Leadership - Part 10 - Fear Of Losing Face

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

... discusses aspect seldom dealt with...

Leadership - Part 10 - Fear Of Losing Face

Peter Hunter

One of the most frequent causes of the leader of the team fearing a confrontational meeting is the possibility of 'losing face'. In some societies, mostly in the Middle and Far East, the social stigma caused by loss of face is considered very serious. Fortunately we tend not to take such matters quite so far but for some individuals, usually the more insecure, it still matters a lot.

Loss of face is in reality, an implied loss of honour. When it is the result of, for example, admitting to having made a mistake or a bad decision, it can assume a significance way out of proportion to its true importance…

I have witnessed many 'mature' individuals stubbornly refuse to change their minds on quite trivial matters when they see it as an admission of a mistake, a 'climbing down'. When the issue is of great importance this can become a serious flaw. No one deserves respect when they can and will not admit when they are wrong.

The best leaders will always readily admit it when they are proved wrong. However they will often use the situation to positive gain. Sometimes it can be used to boost the self-esteem of other team members that were involved in recognising or correcting the mistake.

It can also be used to demonstrate 'that the boss is only human after all and not infallible', often arousing a greater degree of respect, and sometimes even sympathy and affection from the team. This can often be turned to advantage and used to the benefit of morale and togetherness.

Never mind about losing face. There are far more significant things to be anxious about if you are the worrying kind. Leave loss of face to those whose system of social honour demands it. A good leader is the first to recognise and admit a mistake.

That is part of the combination of decisive quick thinking and honesty that contributes to their leadership qualifications…

End

© Peter Hunter 2012

This article is extracted from Peter Hunter's Time To Lead on Kindle

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Submitted: March 09, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Peter Hunter. All rights reserved.

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