Tall Poppy Syndrome

Root Out 'Tall Poppy Syndrome' – It Could Save Your Company - Insperity
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I was surprised to see a DM pop up today from RANZCR Communications in response to my tweet:

I had responded to the issue around “stars” – colleagues invited for their perspective because they presented them in a better way. From a socio-cultural context, doctors are not “stars” – but fortunate individuals to serve those who can benefit from the scientific expertise. We may have disagreements with the best foot forward – on the best “evidence” or specific guidelines, but disagreements lead to debate and hence better outcomes for the patients.

However, I had not known about a unique perspective in Australia on “tall-poppy syndrome”:

I’ve been recently challenged with the Tall Poppy culture in Australia. Since winning two business awards and experiencing success, certain people felt the need to judge me and have an opinion of me that isn’t accurate. I don’t take it personally as it’s really a reflection of them not me, but nonetheless it’s shown me that Tall Poppy Syndrome still exists in Australian culture.

Social media puts you in the spotlight, there will people who praise you and others who will criticize you. It’s a platform where we find trolls and keyboard warriors who feel the need to bring others down to somehow build themselves up. People in the spotlight who choose to be open with their lives and careers, are mainly supported and encouraged by their peers. But there is always a few that try to bring them down.

It was someone in the communications team who alerted me, and then I realized my tweet was perceived as a “tall-poppy-syndrome” instead which was completely unintended. As of this, I am also using this blog post as a public apology but keeping the original tweet to remind me that socio-cultural differences can precipitate misunderstandings. Even though it’s Queen’s English, there are enough linguistic differences that warrant scrutiny.