We liked this blog by Brett L. Simmons.
Study reveals why workers censor their opinions. Job safety, anyone?
There is a difference between employees not speaking up at work because they don’t have anything to say and not speaking up because they fear the consequences.
Managerial behavior can signal employees that it is unwise to speak up. But even when managers are not to blame, some employees will still be reticent to share information they believe is risky.
“The Academy of Management Journal”recently published an extremely well done study by James Detert and Amy Edmondson that examined employee beliefs about when and why speaking up at work is risky or inappropriate.
The authors found that “sometimes unwillingness to speak up is not experienced as intense, discrete fear but rather as a sense of inappropriateness; voice seems risky because it seems wrong or out of place.”
Through a series of four studies, they identified the following five beliefs employees can hold about authority figures that can cause them to exhibit self-protective silence:
1. Negative career consequences of voice. If you want advancement opportunities in today’s world, you have to be careful about pointing out areas of improvement to your boss.
2. Don’t embarrass the boss in public. You should always pass your ideas for improvement by the boss in private first before you speak up publicly at work.
3. Don’t bypass the boss upward. Loyalty to your boss means you don’t speak up about problems in front of your boss.
4. Need solid data or solutions (to speak up). Unless you have clear solutions, you shouldn’t speak up about problems.
5. Presumed target identification: It’s not good to question the way things are done. Those who developed the routines will likely take it personally.
This research is important because it shows that the boss is not always to blame for organizational silence. Individuals arrive at work with a set of implicit theories they learned based on past direct and vicarious experiences.
The authors conclude “managers appear saddled not only by their own actual behaviors inhibiting voice but also by subordinate beliefs about managers.”
If you want employee voice to become an operational priority, you should make changes to your selection, training, evaluation, reward and promotion systems. My advice is to make employee voice an expected, measured and rewarded behavior.
Hire employees who can demonstrate a record of coming forward with suggestions and solutions at their previous jobs. Never promote an employee to a management position if they didn’t attempt to partner with managers to improve their job.
If you discover you have a manager who stifles employee voice, help them with training but don’t promote them again until they demonstrate they can encourage employee voice.
If an employee believes in the safety of silence, engage them in behavior at work that challenges those beliefs. Otherwise, “it is unlikely that they will revise, set aside, or develop new implicit theories related to speaking up,” the authors conclude.
Bret L. Simmons, Ph.D., is an associate professor of management at The University of Nevada, Reno. He writes about leadership and social business at his blog, where a version of this article originally ran.
The march of Google continues. After two-and-a-half months in closed testing, Google is preparing to widen the availability of its social network, Google+, to the public. Add Karen to your circles.
This link from Simply Communicate explains more:
Here are some thoughts about traditional presentations from our Sydney associate, Cath Lawrence …
I was at a conference recently and I ended up pondering that we’re at a really interesting stage in terms of what we expect from presenters or speakers and what they have to offer.
Over the 3 days at this conference there were some large group sessions with over 300 people in the room and some smaller sessions with 30 – 40 people gathered together.
There were big name International and Australian speakers as well as a few relatively unknown industry specific speakers. Seeing these different presenters had me thinking that the world of presentations is definitely changing; the question for me is what next?
Over the last few years the impact of storytelling has been an area of focus for leaders and presenters. There are some people who do it superbly, with humour, emotion and a great tale to tell.
My pondering – will this become too formulaic as more people cotton on to the fact that storytelling is both powerful and topical?
Use of technology
In the last 15 or so years the technology that accompanies presenting has changed enormously. A few of you will remember the days of overhead projectors and scribbled on acetates. Can you imagine sitting through a presentation using that now. Instead there are so many options open to us – with such things as Prezi, you tube and animated media bringing presentations to life
My pondering – will the use of imaginative and gimmicky technology take over from the message?
Added extra – Swiss politician Matthias Poehm has set up The Anti-PowerPoint party. He asserts that PowerPoint presentations are actually costing the Swiss economy billions of dollars.
More demands are being put on the style of the presenter. Once they needed to stand behind a podium, use their overhead projector and say what they need to say. With storytelling and technology this has changed and it seems that the presenter needs to be comedian, actor and expert all wrapped in to one package.
My pondering – will style take over from substance?
Without doubt the future for presentations and presenters is changing. Any ideas on what it will take to present a clear message well in the next 10 years are welcome.
Top five skills for development in communicators were:
- Coaching senior leaders
- Social media development
- Public Affairs
- External Communications
Top five skills that are ‘most lacking’ in Internal Communication recruits:
- Coaching senior leaders
- Strategy setting
- Writing – specific corporate messaging
- Writing – publications/online
If you would like a copy of the research findings contact Karen.
We all know about the change curve in theory – and most of us have experienced it in some form at work or in our personal life. But how do we manage people, emotions and communication at each stage of the curve? What are the techniques that managers need to adopt? How can you better understand and help encourage people through the curve so that they come out smiling on the other side? This experiential session will help you to discover, explore and learn new aspects about managing the change curve in a brain friendly way.
Session time is under 2 hours and priced to suit your budget
Contact us if you would like more details of other ‘Lunch and Learn’ topics we provide which look at leadership, communication, engagement, NLP, the brain and wellbeing in the workplace.
We are pleased to support The Princes Trust with an invitation to attend the Clydesdale Bank 40 match between Unicorns and Glamorgan County Cricket Club on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 August 2011 at Wormsley Cricket Club, near Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire.
Tickets: £75 Contact: email@example.com or Tel: 01283 569667
Hospitality includes Champagne & Pimms reception, lunch with wine on the table, plus full afternoon tea.
Wormsley has been described as the most beautiful ground in England and anyone who has watched or played cricket there will never forget the experience. A red telephone box sits next to the thatched pavilion, overlooking the immaculate fields of play and the sloping Chiltern Hills beyond. Red Kites wheel overhead, floating on the air current while the game unfolds below……..
Sir Paul Getty was a devotee of all things English and his vision and creation of an Arcadian cricket ground at Wormsley was a source of joy to him. This experience will be ‘Quintessentially English’ and Wormsley are kindly raising funds for The Prince’s Trust, with a live auction and raffle on the day.
Tickets to the ground only may also be purchased.
In Korea computer games are so popular you can visit a stadium to view them along with crowds of people. We liked this viral video showing a very different way of playing the highly popular Angry Birds computer game.
See how T Mobile arranged to play angry birds live!
|T-Mobile Angry Birds Live|
Other religious writers like the American Rev Carla Comiter write about how ‘people express fear about the economy, housing market, unemployment, financial markets and how people have lost homes and businesses.’ She believes all of these losses ‘pale in the light of of global transformation. Crisis often precedes transformation.’
Comiter says ‘as we reach the end of an age, old systems break down.
The negative energy that has been present in race consciousness comes forward to be expressed, released and healed. Our monetary systems are the outward symbols of shared agreements in consciousness. These agreements are always based on assumptions about the nature of reality.
Many of these assumptions are the result of Darwinian thinking, such as survival of the fittest, the fittest and competition for resources.’
More and more, Comiter believes we are realizing the flaws in these assumptions.
‘The future of the human race, and of our planet, depends on cooperation among the life forms, not competition.
There is enough to go around-there always has been. It’s a matter of distribution. As long as we believe that we must hoard our resources, as long as we believe that it is acceptable for the majority of people to live in deprivation, as long as we believe that it is ethical to we can make a profit by exploiting other people, we are stuck in old age fearful thinking.
We are approaching the tipping point; when enough people share the consciousness of the New Age, the old institutions and mores will automatically crumble.
We have seen it before. We saw the Berlin Wall come down.
We saw the end of the Cold War.
We are seeing this now in the collapse of our financial systems.
Just as Feudal Europe gave way to the Renaissance, we are experiencing the birth of a new era-a leap forward in the evolution of human consciousness.’
Comiter ends by adding that the prophets of our age, like Tolle, have been speaking of these times for many years now. It appears we may be witnessing some of their predictions bearing fruit.
If you believe these predictions what will this mean for the Western world and for the way we communicate, compete, collaborate and do business together?