• Nanang Chalid

First, the Heart, then the Mind.

Updated: May 31, 2019


There is one basic principle that anyone need to know when it comes to lead people and organisation in Indonesia (which from my limited experience working in the region also relevant for Southeast Asia). That principle is: engage people heart first, then their mind. Most Indonesians perceive their work and profession as integrated part of their life. Its in the nation's culture to abdicate yourself for a cause -- hence, either an Indonesian will give you their 100% efforts for their work, or they don't. There is no middle-ground. It is not ingrained in Indonesian's frame of being that a professional life is separated from a personal life. This is why (which I will discuss in separate essay), giving and receiving feedback is not easy for Indonesians, because by default, we take things personal. This is the primary reason also, why leading Indonesians need to start from the heart, before even going for their mind. Because any Indonesians will simply ask you a question: why should I be led by you? do you care enough about me as a person?.

Due to the above cultural fact, I personally always look for the opportunity to bring together a team into a modified Tuckman's team development journey of "forming-storming-norming-performing" with intense life immersions of a team member. From an outsider to the culture, the session looks like a 'waste-of-time' heart-to-heart sharing on one's life journey to another. But the twist is this: in that particular moment when the team listens to one another stories, and empathize both with the moment of joys or sorrows, and appreciates how unique each individual is, the trusts are created and the hearts are engaged. This was the starting point of any Indonesian team that I saw came through hurdles, and work wholeheartedly as one team.


With that, the role of any HR business partner is facilitate such team-development session. Of course the journey is not finished through just a "life-line" sharing, there are steps to then be made to ensure upon the trusts that being built, the team has safe environment to speaks, sharing and build one another ideas, equally giving recognition and critical feedback for the better, and in collaboration working toward One Goal for One Achievement. For this follow through, you can use various model available such as Lencioni's Cohesive Team, or using the likes of Insight Discovery Team Norms model. Your choice.


For more information about Team Development and how to facilitate it, read through more blog posts I had.


Team Development session using Insight Discovery in the forming stage of Tuckman's development model.

#culturebuilding #teamdevelopment #teamcoach

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