Think about your organization or work unit. Do they value innovation and employee participation? If you believe the answer is “yes,” read on.
On the other hand, if your organization is truly cursed by silence, and the risk of speaking up far exceeds the value, if you can’t quite decide between apathy or silent resistance, you can skip ahead to the conclusion!
Breaking the hard-trodden soil of silence at the worker-bee level will not be an easy task. It will take a great deal of courage, resilience, and vulnerability. It will also be tough to plow alone. That’s where alliances come in. Let’s work through all of this, one row at a time.
With a shared definition of the dimensions of silence and voice as well as an understanding of why silence is not golden, let’s explore some of the organizational dynamics and leadership behaviors that cause employees to feel their opinions are not valued and result in disengaged or self-protective behaviors.
People in all kinds of jobs, all kinds of organizations, all kinds of situations, reach a point where they want to say, “Enough.” They have the same uncomfortable realization: “I should do something about this.” Yet many remain silent. They don’t bring ideas forward.
I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about team safety and the curse of organizational silence. That situation where people in all kinds of jobs, all kinds of organizations, all kinds of situations, reach a point where they want to say, “Enough.” They have the same uncomfortable realization: “I should do something about this.” Yet many remain silent. They don’t bring ideas forward.
Imagine a workplace where everyone engages and contributes their full intellectual capacity, a place where people are happier and healthier because they have more control over their work — a place where everyone is a leader…. All of this is possible, but not with the current leadership paradigm.Our world’s bright future will be built by people who have discovered that leadership is the art of enabling. The steps getting there are evolutionary. The result will be revolutionary.