When What You Think Should Work Doesn’t

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This cartoon has always cracked me up! It reminds me that some of the suggestions I make in programs and during coaching don’t always work the way they were intended.

For instance, I suggested to one leader that he walk around more and get to know the employees. The employees complained that he spent all day telling them what to do, and made them fearful and uncomfortable.

I suggested to one employee that she seek more clarification about her assignments from her boss. Her boss said that she should know how to do her job and she should stop bothering her.

I encouraged one senior leadership team to meet together and share their issues and concerns. They planned a retreat and out of 12 people, two of them didn’t show up.

When some of the simpler things we need to do to create better communication and trust backfire, it usually means that we have more emotional layers to go through, and they often are laden with issues of fear, distrust, and disempowerment.

When have you felt that your efforts to be productive, kind, or supportive have backfired?

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