Everyone seems to agree with each other, and nobody is arguing, but somehow… the atmosphere in your company is dense.
Do you know it from somewhere?
This is false harmony is a problem for many companies, especially family ones. When people think about conflict (not only in business), they tend to think about the “fireworks” kind of conflict that could be used on the front pages of the newspaper. But far more common is the exact opposite, in which people are so afraid of conflict that they avoid uncomfortable discussions of any kind, I mean ANY kind.
How is it manifested?
Lack of constructive feedback, aversion to any discussions and… open criticism in the “backstage” (where no bosses/managers are allowed).
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Have you ever found employees only nodding at the meetings and not mincing words among themselves to criticize some of your actions?
You must know, this phenomenon is dangerous for your business.
Not only can it result in sudden layoffs (which you probably don’t expect, because officially everything is “fine”), but also a lack of innovation (no one comes with a new idea afraid to “rock the boat”) and more frequent mistakes (due to a lack of constructive discussion and criticism).
People don’t feel like they can express their interests or opinions. Issues may be unspoken, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone.
So how to solve the problem?
1. Use anonymous surveys in which you can collect anonymous opinions on important topics,
2. Invite a facilitator to the company – a person from the outside who will lead difficult meetings objectively and without emotions, Or invite mystery employee (it’s our version of mystery shopper service; in short: fake employee comes to your company and explore it from the inside to spot the problems and offer the solutions).
3. Focus on transparency – honestly share with your people decisions you make, talk about mistakes, challenges and encourage everyone to express unpopular decisions (without criticism or “being offended”).
How the situation looks in your company? Did you ever experience false harmony?
Thanks for reading!
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