Cosmic Arcata
Cosmic Arcata asked:

I was reading the quotes from the book. This book sounds like it want to build trust by convincing people to become vulnerable. I have seen a lot of bullies use this tactic. In fact in The Sociopath Next Door she says that the one thing he wants is for people to feel sorry for them...then they go right back to manipulating people. So how is this book different from what I have just described?

Catherine Tackett The author of this book does not mean it to be weak or vulnerable in that sense. In this context, he means that all parties drop walls that we put up to keep ourselves to appear stronger than the next individual. Basically, leveling the field to create equals instead of fostering a competitive environment. This includes the "leader". It's not about making others feel sorry for one another but seeing that each of us have strengths and weaknesses that can contribute to the team environment. This helps drop walls in order to proceed forward with honest problem-solving and not defensive or evasive behavior.
Navarra A very close friend was recently in a job situation where the boss displayed behaviour consistent with a pathological narcissist. While the company spent loads of money on a leadership and community-building seminar that paralleled some of the things in the book, the narcissistic manager used every thing he learned in the book to make the workplace hell to the point that a huge swath of employees were forced to leave or go on long term stress disability (several supervisors left in the same week). He was so incompetent, and the workplace was so toxic there aren't even words to express how bad it got. These types of books/seminars cannot work when companies allow such toxic managers to have responsibilities in workplaces and do not root them out at speed, particularly when faced with overwhelming the evidence demonstrates that a person is incapable of sane leadership. Company structure often has way more influence over toxic leadership than individuals.
Tim Van Sant "The most important action that a leader must take to encourage the building of trust on a team is to demonstrate vulnerability first. This requires that a leader risk losing face in front of the team, so that subordinates will take the risk themselves. What is more, team leaders must create an environment that does not punish vulnerability....Finally, displays of vulnerability must be genuine; they cannot be staged. One of the best ways to lose the trust of a team is to feign vulnerability in order to manipulate the emotions of others." p. 201
Jesse I had this same feeling when reading the book. At the end of the day building a well-functioning team isn't the goal of the corporation, making a profit is. A well-functioning team might help with that, but I'm not sure I buy the author's premise that it is a fundamental requirement. How sure would you be that confessing your weaknesses, fears, and frailties won't be used as justification for dismissal during the next round of belt-tightening? Is it really worth the risk for some nebulous concept of "team unity"? Definitely have to read The Sociopath Next Door.
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