Friday, May 11, 2012

The Back Hand

Do They Really Mean it When they Say it?

Here is the story of the Back Hand (sorry, could not find adequate image!) It's kind of like the 'back-handed compliment':

One day, after a particularly long week of meetings, where the leader of this team had been very moody, argumentative and insulting with his team, he made the following statement:

"I was told that I was not professional last week in some of our meetings and the boss told me I needed to apologize to you for my behavior."

Let me ask you this - does this statement sound sincere? does this statement uplift the leader at all in the eyes of the team? or is this strictly an example of how the leader can follow the boss's literal direction, without applying the constructive criticism as it was intended?

Think about if you have ever stated anything similar. Like the back-handed compliment, this apology ends up leaving a taste of '...ok, he may be apologizing, but he certainly lends no weight to it and it will definitely happen again...' in your mouth.

Usually when there is an apology for an action or behavior, the sincerity with which the apology is given leaves a resounding understanding that the person is remorseful and the behavior or action will not be repeated.

What to do? Keep track of this type of statement and see if there is any commitment for implementing the constructive criticism or change in future events. If not, you may need to approach the boss, around the leader and provide confidential feedback on how his level of insincerity is eroding trust and respect for the leader and his role.

No comments: