Acceptable Behaviour?

The idea of behavioural etiquette has since been long forgotten and what was seen as politically correct is taken with a grain of salt or mocked given the myriad of considerations and limitations.

However, there is another layer to all of this - cultural behaviour. There is always a hierarchical dynamic in a workplace or business with more than one person. This in itself will create a form of culture. Now, when all parties follow the leader then it runs perfectly, doesn't it?

The reality is that it will never run perfectly and even when "follow the leader" is played, typically, behaviourally others will try to lead when the core leader is not present. When this happens the culture can develop in one of two ways. Isolate the odd one out and align to the leader or create a dynamic of bullying. More often than not, it is a combination.

This is because the secondary leader is intimidated by that person which is deemed to not play along with everyone else. For example - if all parties believe it is acceptable to be overly assertive to customers and one chooses to take a diplomatic approach, this can be seen as weakness. Then without even consciously thinking, the secondary leader, as well as potentially others, will want to dominate the "weak" party.

The irony is that the diplomatic party is leading through example not force. This becomes a threat to the secondary leader, simply because they are not a natural leader. Their behaviour reflects that of a bully and tends to be condescending and petty. All because they feel uncomfortable around someone with a different, constructive approach.

The best way to deal with this dynamic - ignoring or "going along" only works so far. Confrontation in a calm and concise manner should remedy this situation. It is simple and yet, extremely powerful.

Acceptable behaviour is working for the same goals with the same intentions, not the same behaviour. Each person is unique and condemning another for a different approach demonstrates feeling threatened, jealousy, intimidated and lacking. It should never be accepted as this will escalate and cause the overall culture to become one of a school yard mentality.

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