(Time to read this Blog article is about 45 seconds)

Are your employees willing to speak up, or are they afraid to upset ‘the boss’?  Or, just as bad, do they think that nobody cares what they think. Have you created a listening culture that values ‘respectful debate’?  Or is it a little more like ‘my way or the highway’ in your business? 

Research shows that 90% of projects undertaken in business don’t meet their commitments to completion dates, budget or outcomes to be delivered.  The people involved in these projects know that things have gone off the rails, but they’re reluctant or afraid to speak up.   

This is not a new problem.  In the early 1600s, Sweden’s King Gustav II commissioned a great warship, the Vesa, to be built.  During construction, he ordered that it be made longer and taller than originally planned.  All the workers knew that the ship would not sail, but no one would speak up.  No one was brave enough to challenge the King.  When launched, the Vasa immediately tipped over and sank, with 30 lives lost. 

 

It takes courage to invite your team to challenge you and speak up…but it will make a huge difference in your business.  Your front-line people know stuff…and they hate it when you don’t listen.  The good ones leave in frustration and the bad ones stay and take ‘I don’t give a damn pills’.

So, what will you do to let your team know that you need and value their input?  How will you create a culture that respects and encourages respectful debate and advice from those around you?  And how will you react when you receive it?

 

About Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF: Donald speaks and coaches in over 40 industries throughout the world.  He delivers the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line...and have a life!  To chat about ‘possibilities’ for your next business or Industry Association Conference, call me at 416-252-3703 in Toronto, or click here to connect to our ‘Enquiry Page’.  

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