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Silence: The Production Killer By: Nicole Vesco & Grant Stubblefield
What causes silent individuals? Individuals dislike confrontation, and individuals worry that discussing disagreements and individual differences will be harder than avoiding the issue entirely. In our social environment, it is possible to never hang out with people too different from oneself. However, work is not a social environment. One has to learn how to communicate with co-workers to solve differences. No one wants to be the one person who differs from the groups consensus, thus often times when a individual disagrees with the group consensus, they often remain silent. Who wants to be the odd man out?
What causes silent individuals (cont.) Perhaps the biggest reason why employees remain silent to their superiors is for a fear of their job. It’s much easier to sit back and agree with the boss rather than to express ones opinions. Agreeing with the boss is an easier way to keep your job secure. Many bosses also have a serious power tripping issues, and this can lead to employees being shot down before they even get to speak their mind. This silence issue deals with a superiors ability to listen.
Why is silence in the workplace bad? The biggest issue with employees being quite is that much of a creative learning aspect is lost. New ideas come about from individuals brainstorming together. No one person has the ultimate plan for a task, so listening to one another holds great importance Ideas and projects formed in a group setting are usually superior to one that is created by an individual working alone. Learning how to bounce ideas back and forth is essential for innovation. Conversing differences and figuring out a solution helps define a final goal that everyone is pleased with.
Is silence really the only issue? Individuals need to learn to express themselves vocally more often when they have concerns. However, a large issue with people remaining silent can also have to do with the fact that they feel like no one is listening It is extremely important for discussion to take place in groups, but that doesn’t just require people not being silent, it also requires people to really listen to what everyone has to offer.
It’s extremely important to form an environment where everyone feels like their contribution is wanted. The workplace needs to be seen as an accepting environment where all ideas can be heard. The more accepting the environment, the more likely individuals will communicate more without many of the previous worries they had.
Many people do not address problems with their bosses because they are worried about keeping their job.
How do we promote communication? First thing we need to do is promote open communication and create a less hostile environment. Employees need to be able to address problems or concerns they have with their boss without feeling as if they will be ridiculed.
Speaking Out -Cynthia Cooper (left) was an auditor who in 2002 investigated and found $3.8 billion in fraud at WorldCom. -Colleen Rowley (center) documented how the FBI failed to act on intelligence from Minneapolis, Minnesota dealing with Zacharias Moussaoui (helped plan, and was later convicted for helping plan the Sep. 11 attacks) -Sherron Watkins (right) is considered as the whistleblower who in 2001 uncovered the Enron scandal These three women all investigated scandals within the organizations they worked for and testified about said scandals in court
The Boss and YOU!! How to approach your boss: -Bosses appreciate openness and honesty -Learn your bosses concerns and goals -Understand how your boss likes to receive their information -Stay focused on your job!