The Elephant in the Room

Last week, I asked the question: "What's it going to take to stop avoiding and start dealing with the lack of trust in our organizations?" It's a big question, and in most companies, it's the elephant in the room. But there are practical skills we can all develop to stop dancing around the elephant and learn to love change. For management, it’s about getting to the heart of the matter “Why am I not getting greater productivity from my people?” For staff it’s “What’s it going to take for management to understand the real problems that keep us from getting our jobs done?”

Too often these questions are posed rhetorically and we muddle through process change poised as answers, truly afraid of what we might hear if we addressed them head-on. If we’re truly going to move our business from good to great, or through these difficult financial times, a paradigm shift needs to happen in the way we communicate and listen. True communication is not about slick tools, faster internet access or even clear speaking. It’s about raising consciousness of what we put out and how we listen, being more interested in results, not the reasons for our failure.

We have to take our communication to the next level.

  1. We have to solve team problems by focusing on issues and results rather than personalities and blame. 
  2. We have to motivate our people to do the right things at the right time, not because they have to but because they want to. 
  3. We have to reward team success in spite of  living and working in a culture that focuses on individual accomplishments. 
  4. We have to develop a workforce that takes responsibility for their actions versus looking for reasons things don’t get done. 
  5. We have to create departmental goals that are achievable and are understood by everyone.
  6. We have to develop our workforce to embrace mistakes as an opportunity to learn, versus something to avoid.

Applying these principles builds trust in a business culture of change and uncertainty. Just try taking on one of these strategies in your own work. See if you don't  discover a renewed connection with individuals, teams and your entire organization in a way that makes your career more purposeful, productive and satisfying.