By Pia Lee, CEO, LIW

When tragic events strike at humanity, the ensuing post-mortems often induce high levels of anxiety. Professor John A Powell likens the social experience of that anxiety to a process called ‘othering’. Based on the conscious or unconscious assumption that a certain identified group poses a threat to the favoured group, it can be ruthlessly manipulated by power-driven leaders to divide and ultimately conquer. A scene played out in worrisome technicolour in the US this week.

What does this mean for leadership?

‘Othering’ doesn’t just happen in countries but is played out in our organisations, our teams and our homes. Shifting our personal mindset is key. Seeing change as positive and others as enrichening enhances our life and who we are. Powell calls this ‘belonging and bridging’.

Clear to see where one leads and the ‘other’ destroys