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Listen In -> Lies and Myths We Believe About Work #5: Making Waves is Making Trouble

Fear is a tricky foe.

Fear often fools us into keeping to ourselves valuable information that might help the team as a whole because it is difficult information for some.

In order to protect ourselves from the fall-out that any difficult information would ignite, we withhold the information altogether. The result is that the team does not benefit from our contribution, insight, and/or perspective.

Pointing out what is not working well is more commonly known as “making waves.” It gets this derogatory name in order to intimidate us away from getting involved.

Insecure leaders views all forms of feedback (however constructive) as negative judgment on their competence. If they can create an even more negative perception of those who offer alternatives (make waves) then many of us will withhold our feedback. We don’t want to be perceived negatively, after all!

In this week’s show, Claudia and I discuss this twisted and counter-productive logic, better known as, “making waves.”

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.


2 Responses to “Listen In -> Lies and Myths We Believe About Work #5: Making Waves is Making Trouble”

  1. Leah Says:

    What if we so speak up when we see a problem and do constructively bring it to our supervisors, only to see nothing happen in response?

  2. Karl Edwards Says:

    Great issue, Leah. And a common one too. Not all supervisors are secure enough or competent enough to take action on the insights of their team members.

    I suggest beginning by stating a goal or value of the supervisor’s and then communicating how the problem is preventing their goal or value from happening. That way you come across as an ally trying to help them accomplish their goal!

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