Expert Excerpt at LIBA #6: Key to Negotiations by Prof. George Kohlrieser

“Learn to accept another person’s perspective”, said Prof. George Kohlrieser, while addressing LIBA students.

It was an illuminating and engaging experience for the students of Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), Chennai, when Prof. George Kohlrieser, an America-born clinical and organizational psychologist, author, speaker, consultant and a professor of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) based in Lausanne, Switzerland addressed the students on the topic ‘High performance leadership’ at the Beyond Management Initiative session held on 30 August 2017.

Prof. Kohlrieser brought to light the importance of youth leadership and stressed on a leadership based on dialogue and bonding.

Leadership starts with leading one’s self. A true leader must have control on his or her emotions and thoughts. Having been a part of over 100 hostage negotiations, Prof. Kohlrieser mentioned that “leadership’s key challenge lies in bonding with the people you don’t like”. This challenge can only be met by getting rid of a tribal mindset which keeps categorizing people as ‘them’ or ‘us’.

Human brain is fundamentally negative. It is at peace only when it is sure that there is no fear or pain. Keeping the brain vibrant and positive is a tough task. One way of doing so is by finding a secure base. A secure base can be a person, place, goal or object that provides a sense of comfort.

“Leaders need to let go off their ego. Leading is about serving, it is a human process,” says Prof. Kohlrieser. Today’s business leaders need to become secure bases for their employees. There is a need to lead from the mind’s eye, interweaving dialogue and bonding in the leadership fabric.

In his special message for India, Prof. Kohlrieser said, “Indian leaders need to be inspirational drivers of change. While there is a need for the women in India to fight for their rights and stand their ground, the men also need to learn to bond and show emotions.”

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