The Elephant in the Room

How often are you able to see a problem, identify its cause, and determine a solution when you are on the outside of a situation looking in? Realistically, if it is that easy from your point of view, it must be as easy for others considering the issues you are struggling with too.

So why do we find it so difficult to address the elephant in the room?

Fear of Speaking Out

From the rank and file through to senior management, self-censorship is seen as self-preservation. According to Harvard Business Review, “a recent culture survey revealed that employees felt it was not safe to speak up or challenge traditional ways of doing things. What they were most reticent to talk about were not problems but rather creative ideas for improving products, processes, or performance.” Yet, how can a business thrive if conversations sound like, “If I tell the director what customers are saying, my career will be over.”

The first step is to identify the factors that cause employees to withhold ideas from their bosses:

  1. Too often, the risks of speaking up feel so personal and immediate to employees that they outweigh the possible future benefits to the organisation.
    Does your company culture encourage dialogue? Or playing it safe as in “When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.”
  2. While very few employees fear sharing because of genuinely hostile past experiences, many are repressed by abstruse perceptions about the company environment.
    Does your business allow a culture of collective myths? Or do you actively challenge myths and assumptions that reinforce silence?
  3. Many employees withhold input because of perceived ideas that their bosses would feel betrayed or hurt by the implied need for change.
    How does your company transfer knowledge?

Sharing Requires Deep Cultural Change

If you don’t have a culture of sharing let me help you create one, contact me today. For more information about business coaching and business consulting services, contact me: 083 256-0378  |   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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