What’s the conversation in your organization? More than any other factor that defines a company, the conversation reveals its culture. The dialogue in some organizations can be described as “business blinders” and these types of comments are dangerous. Do any of these blinders sound familiar?
“We tried that before.” “That would never work here.” “That approach just doesn’t work.” “No one will support this.””“Here we go again.” “We’ve been down this road before.” “That department never gets involved.” “It’s all about doing more with less around here.”
If comments like these are piercing the ears of your organization, it’s time for a culture check. Don’t think that business blinders have no value! They do! They are indications of a serious problem that penetrates everyone’s mindset, pierces motivation and decreases productivity. If ignored and allowed to fester, they can be very costly! Even employees who do not engage in blinder conversations are subject to the negative impact that can cause mental shut downs and stall the opportunity that everyone craves – to be a valued part of the big picture.
There are multiple ways that business blinder conversations work their way into an organization. Negative experiences and pessimistic attitudes can be part of the baggage that some employees bring into the workplace even with the most effective hiring practices. Some people learned job pessimism from hearing blinder statements from parents and other influences around them. For years, Jessie heard her father refer to his boss as an “idiot” time and time again with additional negative comments about bosses in general. So, the seeds of Jessie’s opinion of bosses were planted as the old saying suggests, “The apple never falls far from the tree.”
The culture in some companies actually promotes blinder dialogue. Consider the “here we go again” blinder. If managers and leaders spring new initiatives on their employees without taking the time to gain buy-in, build rapport and establish support, they can cause the blinder dialogue and find themselves wondering why there’s such negative morale. They can be blind to their own causes of the blinders! Ugh!
Most people don’t want to live and work in pessimistic environments. Most people want to do well in their jobs and participate in worthwhile work. Most people want to feel part of an energizing culture that supports their growth and development. Most people want to work in a culture of greatness! As we set our sights on building that culture in our organizations, blinders that might surface from time to time will fizzle.
Eliminating blinder conversations and creating a culture that promotes optimism, team work, problem solving and all of the other effective practices that build great organizations takes careful thought and planning. It starts with listening to the conversations. Are you listening?