Today’s post is going to be about all the talking that people do…neck, out of both sides of their mouths, out their asses. Yup, I’m covering it all today. At a special request from @MsShayBunny, I’m also going to have pictures.
This post, believe it or not was NOT inspired about the midterm election results. Lots of other bloggers have written about that eloquently enough that I don’t feel the need to do so here. This just came from the regular, run-of-the-mill mullarky we get on a day-to-day basis.
By we I mean me, but this a point that can generalize.
How often are we asked our opinions about how we can make things better at work? Some of us have suggestion boxes, some of us have surveys via Survey Monkey. I’m actually in both the former and latter groups. While I don’t drop my suggestions in the box, I am dutiful about filling out the surveys at the behest of my management team. Imagine my surprise at finding out that I need to frame my answer in a certain way to make sure that my concerns are addressed.
Scenario: Team is directed to feel out surveys. Directions: Please write down how you feel. Try not to fill it out on a really good day when everything is going great or a really BAD day when things aren’t. We want to know what is working and what isn’t, but we want you to be objective. Try to remove the emotionality from your answers. We love this data as it helps us make changes for you. Rather that using what we call a “victim’s mentality” and writing about what is wrong, try to write down your answers to come up with a solution. Just writing down the things that you think are wrong require a lot of “back work” on our part. It’s a lot easier to move toward the solution when you can suggest a solution.
You see what was done there? If not, go ahead and peruse one more time…I’ll wait. That’s double talk at it’s best folk. Give me your opinion, but be objective. Tell me the problem and tell us the solution because we don’t really want to do the “back work” to TALK to you and find out why you might think this thing is a problem. Rather than talk with you, potentially building rapport, letting you hear the difficulties management working toward a solution so that you can UNDERSTAND the process and why change might not be instantaneous, I’d rather you tell us what you would do and us not do it and have us completely forgo that teachable moment.
I am a “lay it all out for me” kind of girl, for better or for worse. I take people at their word, because I expect that people will do the same for me. I think it is bad enough when your actions don’t match up with your words, but it is even WORSE when your words don’t match up with each other. Do you want to know what I think or do you want to tell me what I SHOULD think so I can write that down? Are we trying to move toward change that increases workplace satisfaction or do we want the employees to be satisfied with what they have because management thinks it works?
I am not naive enough to think that once I suggest a change it is going to happen. I know that my superiors have superiors, and their superiors have superiors. I know that it has to go through and be approved by the proper channels. I know that as a person on the front line, I am lowest in the pecking order. I ALSO know that if I see myself as the wheels on the bus(iness), without me and my peers, the bus won’t move, no matter who is driving it. I know that I have valuable contributions based on my observations of the things that work and don’t work…but I don’t feel as inspired to give them when someone tries to tell me what to say when they don’t live out my day-to-day experience…
…but it doesn’t mean I won’t try.