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Courage in the Workplace - Constructive Opposition

As a consumer and producer I am responsible for what I believe, say and do. For example, as a producer, I sell services around open source software. I make claims that we guarantee those services using an agreed upon outline of the services to be provided. Are they 100% guaranteed? Hardly. The not so unusual thing is the companies we work with speak up when there are problems so we can fix them.

Lack of candor and courage in the workplace?

We are a small business working with big ones. What I do not understand is the lack of candor among employees inside the bigger organizations. Maybe courage is what's needed for employees to speak up. Anyway, I've gathered a few posts and an article that might help you understand the dynamics in bigger organizations.

Article Image Exploring the Value of Courage in the Workplace (Emory, reg. req)

According to Monica C. Worline, assistant professor of organization and management at Emory University's Goizueta Business School...

The benefits of courage in an organization are many for instance, the atmosphere can become more open so that when something needs to be said, it is immediately clear. Information is provided. Managers need to create a climate where difficult things can be said and there won't be a fear of what happens in the future.

Courageous activity is linked to emotional response. There is this discontent that we're taught that emotion shouldn't ever enter into the workplace.

Fear is another emotion that is much more prevalent in the workplace than we have acknowledged in the past, and it can be a hindrance to people doing what they think is right.

Many do think that they face retribution when the next downsizing announcement gets made. If you think of a company or a system designed to reinforce the status quo and add in the fear of losing a job, then that's how you end up with a ton of conscientious people in an organization who don't speak up.

Why Smart People Defend Bad Ideas by Scott Berkun ( pdf)

Scott... The problem with smart people is that they like to be right and sometimes will defend ideas to the death rather than admit they're wrong.

However, speaking up (blogging?) in a difficult situation is often successful at creating change and that it inspires others to do the same. So here are the core values of blogging.

Steven Streight, Blog Core Values =

  • Authenticity. Passion.
  • Transparency. Credibility.
  • Individualism.
  • Creativity.
  • Originality.
  • Relevance.
  • Integrity.
Many business[es] violate these standards. They are led by arrogant, greedy, selfish, amoral, insensitive people.

Thus, they cannot be candid, kind, responsive, open, vulnerable, interactive, helpful.

They have one thing to say to consumers: "Buy my product."

They only want to hear one thing from customers: "Love your product. How can I buy more?"

Seth, Weasels

We guarantee a member of senior management will call you back as soon as possible."we have very strict guidelines for members."

the box in the supermarket said FREE with purchase.

Naturally, none of these sentences mean what they appear to mean.

I can unequivocally assure you that there's a 100% certainty that weasel words are pretty close to dead.

As an employee, manager, consumer, producer, etc., let';s start calling bs what it really is, bs. How long do you wait to act responsibly before someone tells you, under harsher conditions (you're fired, laid off), that what you are doing doesn't work anymore?

Have ya ever considered...We need new metaphors. Any ideas? Maybe the biggest roadblock in orgainzations is what Hugh, gaping void, says about the French culture, "a culture utterly saturated with bureaucrats."

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