Walking on eggshells at work represses communication and productivity. Feeling your voice doesn’t matter can lead to breakdowns that can be costly and cause ill feelings.
Too many times, I have seen this from both angles.
Henry was working on a project when he learned that the client was peeved because of inadequate information flow and the need to be kept up to date on issues that were causing delays. It is Henry’s mistake for taking the easy way out to avoid conflict with his boss. He did not want to be the bearer of bad news. It is difficult for Henry to see his blind spot of conflict avoidance. He was afraid to pass this on to his boss.
However, the boss is not okay with hearing bad news, creating a barrier for unwanted information to be passed upward. In this case, he contributes to poor team performance and customer frustration. The boss was so concerned with image and perfection that he could not tolerate mistakes that made his team appear unprofessional. Henry was extremely concerned with how his boss perceived him. [Blind Spot]
You can see how this will end.
The boss will eventually discover the ill performance of the project and be furious. The customer will be upset, and heads may even roll as a result. Had this been communicated when it was discovered, both the customer and boss would have been disappointed but not to the level that occurred by deferring serious or problematic information being shared. This kind of pattern can be very costly in delays and redesigns. The longer poor performance continues, the longer and more expensive the recovery process.
There are severe repercussions concerning customer retention and customer image in the marketplace. This cost is not accurately quantifiable, yet it contributes to revenue loss that can be significant.
Which role do you play at work? Can you hear or pass along bad news?
Watch for the blind spots.
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