Response to The Five Faces of a “False Advocate”

15 Dec Response to The Five Faces of a “False Advocate”

I read your article on the False Advocate dimension with great interest, and agree entirely with your amplification of this crucial dimension, and its relevance in contemporary organisational life. I’m sure you are already aware of this, but I certainly found it fascinating to learn that Passive Aggressiveness has now been excluded as a personality disorder in the latest DSM classification. The reason for this apparently is that passive aggressive behaviour is now so prevalent in organisations that it can no longer confidently be regarded as a deviation from the norm! Nonetheless I believe it may still be highly dysfunctional in context, which makes the need to understand and assess False Advocacy even more critical.

By way of further elaboration of the significance of False Advocacy, I recently encountered an organisation where a senior member of the executive team reported above the 90th percentile on both False Advocate, and on Rule Breaker. My consulting work with the organisation revealed a startling degree of dysfunctionality, which I traced back to this individual’s toxic blend of purporting to support the strategic intent of the business while actually undermining it in his customer relationships. While at the same time subtly playing off members of the executive team against one another, on the pretext of building an open culture. Robust coaching surfaced his role in contributing to the dysfunctionality in the company, but he decided that his future lay elsewhere.

With very best wishes,

Neville Osrin
Consultant Business Psychologist
London, England