Discussing undiscussables: Exercising adaptive leadership. Melinda F. Klonsky

ISBN: 9781124263014


NOOK Study eTextbook

163 pages


Discussing undiscussables: Exercising adaptive leadership.  by  Melinda F. Klonsky

Discussing undiscussables: Exercising adaptive leadership. by Melinda F. Klonsky
| NOOK Study eTextbook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 163 pages | ISBN: 9781124263014 | 6.61 Mb

Prior research has demonstrated the damage undiscussables produce on organizational systems. The dynamics of power embedded in organizations presume that employees will not raise sensitive issues for fear of repercussions. With time, undiscussables can lead to a downward spiral of decreasing confidence in leaders, a withdrawal of loyalty, and employee turnovers.-This study examined how effective leaders managed undiscussables in the workplace.

Building on the work of Heifetz (1994), this research posited that identifying undiscussables and initiating strategies to manage them required adaptive leaders who created an environment in which employees and leaders could wrestle with difficult issues. This study adds the constructs of psychological courage (Putnam, 2004- Rate, Clarke, Lindsay, & Sternberg 2007) and wisdom-in-action (Baltes & Staudinger, 2000- Yang, 2008) as necessary components of exercising adaptive leadership in these circumstances.-Interviews of ten leaders and fourteen direct reports supplied the data.

Narrative and content analyses elicited results supporting the premise and revealed unanticipated findings related to these leaders actions: core values, emotional competence, and relational authenticity. The core value of doing good coupled with their self-awareness and emotional competence seemed to support their psychological courage in taking risks to mitigate the damage of undiscussables to their organizations. Striving for genuine relationships, a climate of trust, a holding environment, was generated in which to discuss undiscussables.

Utilizing a myriad of strategies including compassionate truth telling, they employed wisdom-in-action to mediate conflicts and regulate distress. This study provides new insights into exercising adaptive leadership in the context of undiscussables.-Key words: undiscussables, organizational silence, adaptive leadership, psychological courage, wisdom-in-action, emotional competence, core values, relational authenticity, compassionate truth-telling, paradoxical tensions, narrative and content analysis

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