The other day, I heard someone say, “I will check with my superior and let you know”. By superior, he meant boss.
At times, team members are referred to as “subordinate”
Aren’t these words – superior and subordinate – undermining equality; laced with assumption that manager is inherently better than the employee.
Does being higher up in hierarchy necessarily make someone better? A manager will surely be better than the employee in some ways. But, is it fair to assume that a manager would be better in every way?
Many a times, a team member complements his or her manager; brings certain capabilities that the manager doesn’t have.
I wonder if these words ‘superior-subordinate’ play a role in
Making the managers believe that they need to have answers to all questions, solutions to all problems
Influencing the managers’ inability to openly listen to team members’ views and ideas, especially contrary
Managers’ inability to accept constructive feedback from team members
Negatively impacting the managers’ ability to empower teams
Managers’ discomfort in working with exceptionally bright team members
There is a saying, “Watch your words, they become actions”.
Does it apply to words like “superior-subordinate”? I believe they do. What say?
At the outset, I would like to thank you for stopping by my Blog.
I believe that there is nothing right or wrong in this world. What’s right in this moment and context may be wrong in another moment and context. This belief has inspired me to name my blog ‘Perspectives’.
Perspectives is a platform for me to share my experiences, thoughts and perspectives on various subjects. You may have a different point of view. I look forward to hearing them, these are the triggers for rich and deep conversations.
On personal front, I live in Mumbai, India. I love to read; Somerset Maugham and Nevil Shute are my favorite authors. My favorite books are The Razor’s Edge, Mrs. Craddock, Chequer Board and Gone with the Wind. I am thankful to my father who inculcated the habit of reading in me early on.
I am also passionate about traveling, I have been to most parts of India and to several countries across the globe.
On professional front, I work in Human Resources function. Over two and half decades, I have worked across multiple industries and cultures. I focus on Leadership Development, Talent Management, Visioning and Culture, Large-scale change, Employee Listening & Engagement, Employee Well-being, Inclusive work culture, HR effectiveness, Behavior and Mind-set shifts through sustained interventions
I currently lead Organization Effectiveness Function for Aditya Birla Group, a $44.3 billion conglomerate with 120000 employees across 35 countries.
I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading my blog. I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.
View all posts by Padma Rajeswari Nandi
2 thoughts on “Superior-subordinate: Words to avoid”
Yes, the words imply hierarchy and may have the potential to influence behaviour.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Somali