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Webinar #12 How to tame a hippo


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Our next and last webinar of the year will zoom into the topic of toxic leadership and how to tame toxic leaders which Skip coined the metaphor of “Hippos” to describe toxic leaders in a fun and disruptive way. He was heavily inspired by Bob Sutton and the No Asshole Rule book. And likewise, by the work on defensive mindsets by Human Synergistics. Skip was so inspired by their work he created a mission for his company to "make organisations SAFE for great work". And the Hippobusters Facebook site.

What are hippos?

Hippos are people who act in ways that make others feel less valued, insulted, uncomfortable and unsafe. Sarcastic, condescending, hostile, rivalling, critical, negative, undermining, hippos are mostly acting under the belief that these strategies are how you get things done at work and in the world in general. And they have typically been rewarded for mastering these aggressive-defensive behaviors. Even though research shows that hippos are rewarded more, and regularly promoted, they are not effective. ‘Cause bringing out the worst in others is never an effective tactic for collaborative work. Hippos in short create 5 key negative outcomes in relationships: conflict, competition, resistance, compliance and complacency. Or “hippo poop” which creates friction, slows team and organisations down and reduces the quality of innovation and relationships.

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How to tame a hippo

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