When was the last time you have exposed your vulnerability to your management team? When was the last time, that you admitted that something was difficult or emotionally straining for you?

One of the most researched topics in the world is justice and how people perceive it. The evidence is mounting: justice is important to all people, regardless of the person’s cultural background or other personal aspects. There is a lot of evidence, that people accept even unfavourable end-results for themselves, if interactional justice is high. One aspect of interactional justice is that people are treated with respect and dignity. If treating people with dignity is so important, why people report undignified treatment in organizations?

It can be speculated, that leaders want to keep emotional distance to difficult matters and people involved in them. It might be, that leaders want to distance themselves from the difficult matters they are dealing with because they might assume that this distancing saves you mental and emotional energy. However, management team members as well as employees interpret this distancing as unfriendly behaviour and degrading treatment.

Reveal your vulnerability

Revealing your vulnerability is the key for unlocking the true potential of the management team. Admitting that you have emotions and some matters are more difficult than others, shows the human side of you. And this encourages other team members to trust you. People are trusted, not cold and distant processes. And when people trust each other, magic happens.

How to act when you see someone is treated disrespectfully in your management team? You need to get closer to the difficult matter, and not distance yourself from it. The management team needs to become a human: you need to acknowledge the difficult feelings that the disrespectful treatment brings about and you need to admit that it affects the whole group. Then you need to act on the group level.

You need to bring the disrespectful behaviour forward, face it and say out loud that it is not accepted.

Treating people with respect and dignity pays off. You get best out of the management team only by acknowledging the emotionally difficult matters and dealing with them up front.

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