Work Environments Win! | No BS Management Advice

Managers I have worked with will complain about how their teams offer nothing in the way of advice or input as to how to do things better. That’s because the environment wins!

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This is a video that talks to you as a manager about the impact of the environment that you've created. Now, if you're happy with an environment, where you get no input from your people that's worth a damn, or worse, get no suggestions, no advice, no input from them whatsoever about how things could be done better or differently. . . . Your fault, because you've created an environment where they've gotten the message from one another, or from you that this isn't anything worth doing.
I want to be clear, one of the biggest places where it occurs is from one another amongst the staff. Ever hear the phrase "brown nose? Suck up? If those are behaviors or messages that people are getting, then you're never going to get an idea from anyone because they know ostracism starts to take place.
"Harvard Business Review" had an article eight, nine months ago on this subject. And, the truth of the matter is, I put the title of this as, "Environments Win." But it's really the messages that people get from their colleagues about what it's like to stick their head up as a poppy in the field, and what's going to happen to them that, often, is the big difference between success and failure in organizations.
You see, as a manager, the commonplace behavior that you're responsible for is repeatable process. You want people who will do their job and could repeat doing the job again and again. Thus, when there's someone who stands out in some way, often colleagues try to cut that person down to size. They backstab them, they criticize them, they tell stories about them, right? No one defends the person that they're really trying and that they really care.
I know, there was a search firm I was associated with, where, you know, I just didn't understand how they operated. I kept asking questions and the response I basically got was, that's basically how we've done it all. We've done pretty well. Good answer, but not good enough for me because I saw a way that could be done better.
Alternatively, people started, shall we say, shooting bullets at me, and taking shots at me behind my back meetings with managers and ownership. Eventually, I got the message that they didn't care. It didn't matter to them. Doing things the same way, it was good enough, the idea of doing something better wasn't. I learned to shut my mouth. The result was they missed boatloads of opportunities. I've always been out front with a lot of things. I'm not always right, quite obviously, but I'm right, far more than I'm wrong.
So, I'll just simply say if you're not getting advice, if you're not getting input from your people, that's because they've gotten the message in the environment and/or from you that they shouldn't do that. All you care about is repeating the performance and the process that's existed before and that's good enough.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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