Trust between boss and employee: What to do about conflicts of loyalty?


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Disloyal employees like to ally with angry customers against their own Company, Or they use forums and opinion portals, in order to let out about the unbearable working climate and the machinations of the upper ones. Loyalty conflicts should therefore not arise better.

conflicts of loyalty

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Anne M. Schüller's Profile anne-m-schueller_portrait-mit-hutAnne M. Schüller is a management thinker, keynote speaker, business coach and multiple award-winning bestselling author. She has repeatedly been named Top Voice by the business network LinkedIn.

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How Loyalty Conflicts Arose

If, for example, something has been ordered “from above” that “those down there” cannot carry because it obviously damages the customer relationship, then the employee is in a conflict of loyalty.

What should he do? The bosses say that it is complete nonsense? Or refuse to carry out the measure? That can be professional suicide. Shut up and through? So get Company nothing but puppets, which in the end does not care.

Encourage discussion when decisions have long since fallen? Is usually futile. What remains? The customer, who always has an open ear for mended employees. And with that one is just howling.

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How loyalty conflicts are expressed

“So that's nothing at all. If you knew what else we do…. ”, Says the employee when a customer complains about bad processes. And then more internals are cheerfully spoken out.

“I was against it right away, but those on the top floor wanted it that way,” says the department head at the team meeting, when doubts about the feasibility of a decision arise. And then he tells a few piquant details of how it goes in the management meetings.

Both persons were in a loyalty conflict. They took themselves out of the line of fire and pointed their fingers at others.

Loyalty conflicts move on three levels:

  • Introspectively: with himself and his conscience
  • Horizontal: against colleagues
  • Vertical: between top and bottom

Of course, the loyalty of a leader on these three levels also takes place. For this reason, she always has to answer the question as to what her loyalty comprehension refers to: Top management? Shareholders? The enterprise? The employees? On your own conscience?

On the one hand, loyalty is a fundamental question, but on the other hand it is also very concrete. How, then, does a supervisor react when he passes unpopular management decisions to the employees? And how does he defend his employees when they get into the crossroads of criticism?

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Loyalty conflicts often arise on the open stage

Just male executives expect their own people to keep closed to them. If, for example, an employee in the meeting turns up against his boss or proves that he is wrong, he feels damaged in his position and weakened in his power.

It is just as problematic when an employee turns past the manager past their boss one floor up to be able to achieve their goals. It can be just as bad if people from your own ranks sympathize with “enemies of the department”.

Especially women often fall into such loyalties, because they are primarily committed to the cause. Positioning and territorial behavior are usually alien to them.

Power breeds false loyalty

In addition to the performance level, there is always a level of power that demands loyalty. Disasters with millions of dollars of damage take their course: Everyone knows that the boss is on the wrong track, but nobody has the courage to tell him that.

In hospitals, thousands of people die because nobody is reading the Levites to the treating doctor. Aircraft have crashed because the copilot dared not contradict. And large building sites mutate into billions of holes. Yes, misunderstood loyalty often has the worst consequences.

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The fabled Nibelungsreuue has nothing to look for in today's reality. We need a reflective loyalty. After all, only those who tell the company, if necessary, the opinion, is doing it well.

Whistleblowing: loyal or illoyal?

Unfortunately it still happens that when the mouse cheats are discovered, the "traitor" gets into trouble, and not the real villain. Especially when the "traitor" is a small one, but the "caught" one is a big one.

Today, such revelators are called “whistleblowers”. This has nothing to do with Petzen. Because whistleblowers reveal unacceptable wrongdoing, serious grievances and illegal actions. If you think of the common good, you are even taking personal risks.

Before such civil courage, I have the greatest respect. To curb evils and to avert damage, it is clearly the duty of a company to protect such highly loyal employees. For this, there must be internal or external trust persons, to whom one can turn.

Define how loyalty is to be lived

Discuss and define how loyalty in your company is to be seen and lived. Especially where there is a particular trust relationship, such as between the manager and the assistant, it is also important to clarify where the loyalty boundaries lie in mutual interest.

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Above all, however, it should be worked out together how to develop a culture of loyalty in the company. After all, loyalty is the basis for a high-performance organization, in which every single person incorporates his entire commitment. And that's because he wants to - and not because he has to.


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  1. Ursula Rosengart

    What to do against Loyalty Conflicts? - Exciting contribution1AlMZFK9Mg

  2. Anne M. Schüller

    Loyalty conflicts often arise on the open stage - Exciting contributionF3cmPhwy6M

  3. Anne M. Schüller

    RT @SimoneJanson: Mitarbeiter-Illoyalität (2/3): Was tun gegen Loyalitätskonflikte? – - Exciting contributionCX002uAe3z

  4. Competencepartner

    Mitarbeiter-Illoyalität (2/3): Was tun gegen Loyalitätskonflikte?: Illoyale Mitarbeiter verbün… - Exciting contributionDB60NMdJNH #Profile #Development

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