Posts tagged communication
Boundless Leadership: There's an elephant in the room - what now?

Every once in a while an elephant shows up. You know, the thing that is blooming obvious, but no one wants to talk about.

Like the fact that Uncle Fred drinks way too much and smells of urine. Or Susan spends more time socialising on Facebook than she does doing the accounts. Or the boss’s right-hand man – the ‘Golden Boy’ – has tantrums that keep everyone cowering behind their desks and taking really, really long lunches – out.

What do you do? If you say something, then what started as something uncomfortable may become a Major Issue. If you pipe up about smelly Uncle Fred, then the family is going to have to deal with alcoholism. If you point out Susan is wasting company time, you may become the tattle-tale. If you complain to the boss about Golden Boy’s tantrums, then maybe you’ll get the sack.

Our fears of creating even more uncomfortable feelings keep us paralysed.

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Boundless Leadership: Why we need to get better at wrestling gremlins

Here’s what my clients are facing this week:

  • Voluntary redundancies
  • Restructures
  • Unhappy toxic cultures
  • Struggling to get traction in building the business
  • Work drying up
  • Staff not up to the job they are keen to move in to
  • Personality conflicts with Board Members

This is some seriously challenging stuff! There’s lots at stake. Anxiety and fear are rife.

In Australia, talking about feelings at work is akin to dancing on a tabletop in your underpants. You just don’t do it. Not unless there has been a significant amount of alcohol consumed.

Here’s why we need to get over ourselves and start talking about feelings:

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Speaking Up: why it's so hard and what to do about it

Toni Hoffman was a senior nurse at Bundaberg Base hospital. In 2006 she was awarded the Order of Australia medal and the Local Hero Award.

She went through hell. She was the whistleblower on the Jayant Patel case, a surgeon who was convicted of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm. (These charges were later quashed and a retrial ordered. In 2015 he was finally barred from practising medicine in Australia. Her actions likely saved many lives and caused improvement in the hospital’s systems.) She was shunned by her peers, unsupported by the administration. Her health suffered.

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