Posted in General at Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:41:29
Joined: 24 Feb 2009
In Response to Re: Do you let your junior colleagues call you by your first name?:[QUOTE]
My son is a pilot and this hierarchical system does not exist in Australiabut does in Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian systems. It has lead to catastrophe as the junior pilot hold his tongue as the aircraft flies into a mountainside. The paralysis of critical analysis due to the hierarchical bullshit factor reigns supreme.
Many patients call me by my first name but others call me by title eg professor. It is not the title but the attitude that counts. It is the heart if man, not his tongue.
I note that children now address their parents in a disrespectful way which was intolerable in my childhood.
There is a growing trend that everyone is equal until things go pear-shaped. I don't want my students or juniors addressing me by my Christian name. When my juniors have thirty years of experience and have a C.V. thirty pages long they call address me as equals. But I will listen when they voice considered disagreement about my decisions.
But is that not a contradiction? On the one hand, you are not happy for your juniors to call you by your first name but on the other, as you rightly say hierarchies lead to catastrophe. It is great that you listen to a junior who disagrees with you but what if they do not speak up because of the hierachical structure in which we work? I'm not saying that after 30 years experience you are cannot be called Dr "Odysseus" if you want to but I'm asking whether you think that might prevent juniors from speaking up?
Posted by Odysseus[/QUOTE]
Posted by Abi Blumenthal[/QUOTE
Relationships are not just a matter of titles but body language and a lot of non-verbal stuff. If you create a harmonious, mutually respectful relationship, it should be easy to sense there is a culture where the senior can be politely challenged if wrong or off track. The job of leadership of a team, not to be a feudal baron lording it over vassals.
A mutually respectful hierarchy is nice to work in. For the junior, it is nice to have a father-like figure as guide and mentor. The senior should regard his junior like a son or daughter or perhaps like nephew or niece.