DCI Consulting Article

Leadership Perception Gaps and the Power of Attitude

by DCI Team | January 10, 2024

Photo by Roberto Hund

Imagine that you’ve gone to a leadership training one of the key takeaways was that you need to be supportive and now after being supportive to your team for the past two months you find that things are actually getting worse not better. You don’t understand why but you keep being supportive. Still results just don’t show. People are just not being as productive as they could be.

The possibility that you have been doing no one has said anything but then again, how often do your subordinates give you feedback on your leadership?


This is usually due to a perception gap. a gap between what you see and what everyone else perceives.

In this case the subordinates may be perceiving your supportiveness as being micromanaging and controlling, but to you see it as helping and supportive unfortunately the gap is not being expressed end you as the leader are unaware that what you feel is a positive action is being perceived as negative and potentially condescending. This creates a lack of commitment and the associated lack of productivity.

Because of the barrier of communication between subordinates and leaders, often the leader may have the right attitude but the wrong strategy to achieve it… and since they are unaware of the real perception, they perpetuate the wrong strategy.

But it is a lot easier to change a strategy than it is to change an attitude. The strategy is something that, with the proper awareness of what the result you’re getting actually be modified in order to match the attitude that is behind the strategy really required only a modification of the strategy.

Often, training focuses on mindset change or attitude change which is the most difficult. What many fail to see is that the mindset and attitude are actually in line with the desired outcome, unfortunately the lack of feedback is not supporting the leader to modify their strategy that is negatively perceived as a poor attitude. The leader’s mindset and attitude are therefore not seen for what they actually are, but only for the perception of the actions/strategy which end up being less than desirable.

To this end the Management Mirror 360 tool supports feedback and to close the gap between attitude/mindset, and a strategy that may be counterproductive.

The idea is that each of us have primary motivators, and our actions sometime “Need Suck” these emotions from people around us. Usually without being aware. Need Sucking is defined as “An action or statement by one person that sucks a specific emotional gratification from another or group of others.”

For example: you may try to help someone (you are filling your emotional drive of contribution), but they tell you, NO, I can do it, let me do it (they are trying to fill their emotional drive of achievement — to finish things). By helping them you would have Sucked their drive for achievement, but by not letting you help them, they have sucked your drive for contribution.

By understanding the DC psychology Emotional Drive model and the language that goes with it, it is easy to turn an emotionally charged situation into a fun and expressive communication. this leads to greater personal commitment and engagment. But when you know your gaps, that’s where the real power comes in. knowing how you might be Need Sucking people accidently gives you power, power to modify strategy and stop accidently taking gratification from your team.

You can read more on Emotional Drive and the Management Mirror at: https://emotionaldrive.net

Related Posts