Hatching Free Range Ideas

Helping others to deliver “bad” news

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm
“When you step between others and their crucial conversations, you separate them from the consequences that would motivate them to develop the strength of character and competence required to build healthy relationships.”

Joseph Grenny, coauthor of Crucial Conversations

I love the way information shows up exactly when it should. And I love this guy!!!

In another life, I worked for a massive mutual fund company in one of their transfer centers (call center in other businesses). They supported a feedback system where anonymous feedback was delivered by managers to staff members, minus the person who had provided the feedback. What I found as a regular receiver of “the gift of feedback,” was that there was never any opportunity to improve the original relationship based on the input since you were never to know who sent the message on to the manager. In some cases, when a specific person was quoted, you were never to approach that person for resolution. I could go on and on but, in short, it was the most well-intentioned, dysfunctional, patriarchal, multiple-standard workplace I have ever encountered.

HR believed, rightly so, that people often left because of too much feedback. What they didn’t consider was that the feedback system dropped the recipient in a hole with sides that rapidly collapsed and that the only way out of the hole was out of the building.

That was the extreme. I am currently entering a similar situation, where I assume that once again through good intentions, information is obscured through generalization so that no one can be blamed for bringing the information forward. This causes two primary concerns: the first about relationships and the second about implementation. I wonder what this need indicates about the relationship. And I fear that it will be VERY easy to solve the wrong problem.

I’m afraid also that once we are on this path, it’s very hard to develop the culture where we speak one on one and tell our own stories to each other.


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