If not you, then who?

By Elke Edwards, Ivy House
Posted on 2nd December 2017

One of the kickbacks I get from clients on a regular basis is “but you don’t understand how things work around here”. What they really mean is they know it’s wrong but don’t know how to handle it. They tell themselves that if they ‘call it’ they will lose their jobs. And you know what, they may be right.

This is a major challenge that many face. There are organisations and industries where dysfunctional behaviour has become so accepted and challenge so unacceptable that no one calls it out anymore. But there is a way out of this.

Firstly, make a decision to hold on to your ‘beginner’s mind’ – the ability to stay objective as you look at what is going on around you. You will have to work hard at this as it is easy to get dragged in so it may be worth enlisting some colleagues to support you. Secondly, take time to learn the skills of effective dialogue. Ineffective dialogue ‘difficult conversations’ become conversations where ‘difference’ is discussed. When you combine an objective lens with the ability to discuss what is seen in a helpful way, not only do you get to keep your job, you get to keep your integrity.

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