My guest is Dr Rob Bogosian the principal at RVB Associates, author of Breaking Corporate Silence: How High Influence Leaders Create Cultures of Voice and has been featured in numerous business publications including Business Insider, CNN Money, The Economist, Entrepreneur Magazine and more.

He partners leaders and businesses to make sure that their leadership development strategies are fit for purpose. Rob’s perspective is that if you get that right then you minimise operational risk caused by performance gaps at all levels, the individual, the group or team level and enterprise wide. 

“If you have a high need for self-affirmation, approval, you’re going to have a hard time as a leader. You have to have a secure attachment in order to be an effective leader. And I’m not sure that enough of our leadership population is securely attached… meaning if you are anxious, that shows up at work and if you’re “attachment secure”, that shows up at work.”

He is particularly interested in corporate cultures of silence and cultures of voice and believes that leaders are not always aware of the influence and impact they have on their people’s behaviour and therefore what their people feel they can express and say — and I’m inclined to agree with him.

You will hear Rob get very impassioned when he talks about the damage that corporate silence does to people at work. Why this interest in our fear of speaking up? It comes from a deep place in him — my sense is it comes from a profound appreciation for the suffering that his grandfather survived against the horrific injustice of genocide and an equally profound gratitude and respect for the opportunity and insight that has given him. It’s like he sees and feels the echoes of terrible leadership and the suffering it inflicts on people in what he witnesses in his clients’ organisations today. 

He says we can do better in leadership, much better.

In our conversation, we explored the many things that get in the way of a leader’s ability to inspire and lead effectively.

We talked about so many things that get in the way of a leader’s ability to inspire and lead effectively, including why it is that leaders forget the humans they work with? Why do many leaders show up as insecure? What stops leaders from getting the information they need to make good business decisions?

If that wasn’t enough you will hear Rob get more personal on corporate silence and the fear of speaking up

  • Leaders not being aware of the influence and impact they have on their people
  • Employee culture are always scanning for messages from management, trying to figure out how to survive
  • People hijacking conversations in social setting all the time
  • Teaching Executive MBA students to listen and learn 80% of the time
  • Using, developing, and strengthening your people so they are fully capable of making decisions and solving problems without you
  • The “Mum” effective (Rob’s definition: the minimisation of undesirable messages)
  • Emotional pain, suffering, and destruction that poor leadership inflicts on people in organisations
  • Seeking public affirmation in a world of founder and entrepreneur fame
  • The “45-second rule”, ask a question and wait 45 seconds
  • Self-doubt and fear of speaking that limits decent and good leadership
  • Navigating around a leader who doesn’t know how to get the best out of people
  • Building on ideas, which cannot exist in a culture of silence

Mentioned & Relevant

About Dr. Rob Bogosian

My area of expertise is Cultures of Silence and Voice. My research is published in my book, Breaking Corporate Silence. I think this subject fits with your Better Conversations program.

Partner with clients to ensure that current business and leadership development strategies are calibrated. This minimizes operational risk causedCorporate Silence by performance gaps at individual, group, and enterprise levels. 

Rob is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Florida Atlantic University, Executive MBA Program in Boca Raton, Florida. Dr. Rob Bogosian is a principal at RVB Associates, Inc., the co-author of Breaking Corporate Silence and has been featured in Business Insider, CNN Money, The Economist, Fortune Magazine, CEO Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg Radio, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. The firm offers a range of talent management and culture shaping expertise focused on linking management and leadership development to business strategy. Areas of specialization include global enterprise-wide leadership development, assessment, and executive coaching, shaping and sustaining Cultures of Voice, and M & A Culture Integration. Prior to establishing RVB Associates, Rob was Vice President of Performance Development at Wachovia Corporation (a Wells Fargo company). In that capacity, he was responsible for developing strategic talent management and organizational development solutions throughout Wachovia’s asset management line of business.

In addition, he oversaw the development of high-performing, high-potential talent, and played a pivotal role with executive teams and individuals helping them achieve their performance development goals. Rob is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Florida Atlantic University, Executive MBA Program in Boca Raton, Florida. He holds a doctoral degree in human and organizational learning from The George Washington University, Washington, DC, a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Organizational Development from Leslie University, Graduate School of Management, Cambridge, MA, and an M.Ed. from Boston University, Boston, MA.

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Corporate Silence

About Sehaam Cyrene PCC

Business leader, entrepreneur and Executive Coach, Sehaam Cyrene PCC is the Founder of Better Conversations and the creator of a game-changing online course for leaders — Leaders Who Coach™. A regular speaker to digital communities, leaders, board directors, and teams, and producer of BC4Leaders events, she also hosts her own podcast series Better Conversations with Sehaam Cyrene.