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Discussion in 'Evolution of Language' started by Jeff Tracy, Sep 11, 2017.
AKA Should have kept quiet.
The Five Most Dangerous Questions To Ask at Work
1. Why don't we talk about culture and energy in our company? Even when the air is thick with conflict and everyone can feel it, we don't talk about it -- why is that?
2. In our company we use processes that are inefficient and wasteful, as you have noted more than once in our conversations. Why are these inefficient processes still in place?
3. Why is there dissension and political strife among the managers in this company?
4. When we have missed our goals and we all know why -- either the goal was unrealistic, we didn't have the tools we needed or turnover kept us from hitting the target -- we still hear that the employees need to buckle down and work harder. Why do we pretend that all problems are employee problems when we know it isn't true?
5. How long will my employment at this company last?
If we examine these questions we can see the role that fear plays in keeping us quiet about important issues that need air time. In a toxic culture, you won't feel comfortable asking why culture itself is not a topic for conversation -- because you already know the reason!
You know it in your bones. Your leaders can't talk about culture because it's a culture of fear, and they themselves cannot acknowledge the fear in the air -- much less the fear they feel personally.
Bad processes slow businesses down, so we would think that it's every employee's job to talk about them. Yet we all know that in many organizations, bad processes persist because lower-level managers tell their bosses that the processes don't work but the higher-level managers don't want to hear it because it would cost time and money to evolve to a new process. The lower-level manager is muzzled and doesn't want to talk about it.
When leaders don't agree with one another, they can have a healthy debate. If they can't do that, then they stay in their offices instead and send poison-pen email messages zipping around the building, slicing their peers to shreds behind their backs. Leadership turmoil is a favorite topic of non-discussion in many unhealthy organizations.
Employees and their failings are popular topics in large and small companies, sometimes behind closed doors and sometimes out in the open. Deeper and more systemic issues are harder to talk about. It is easy to create an off-the-cuff incentive program to reward the employees for working harder.
It is more challenging to look at the root causes for productivity problems -- issues like an unclear or unrealistic plan, too much red-tape bureaucracy or a lack of cohesion between departments. Don't mention these issues in an unhealthy workplace unless you are ready to launch a job search!
The biggest "Don't you dare!" question is the question "How long will I be working here?" When you accept a new job, it's more than reasonable for you to wonder how long the job will last, but the biggest unspoken agreement in the working world is the agreement employees make not to ask about their job security.
Dangerous 'Marriage Question' #1: Why don’t you…?
Fill in the blank with an insult such as “Why don’t you ever listen to me? Why don’t you make more money? Why don’t you do a better job cleaning up the house? Why don’t you help more with the kids?” These dangerous questions communicate contempt for your spouse. They quickly put your spouse on the defensive. Instead of affirming the marriage, these questions tear down.
Researcher Dr. John Gottman has discovered the four horsemen that predict early divorce: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. You don’t want to ask critical, contemptuous questions that push your spouse to stonewall and become defensive.
Job's wife to Job, " Why don't you just curse God and die"?
Was it the act of a contentious and vindictive woman or was it a challenge as if to say; get back on you feet and knock off the pity party?
Many times it's not the question you ask that is dangerous...but the way you ask it.
Have you stopped beating your wife?
Yeah, I don't use a stick anymore......
Is that a real gun?
That's a "loaded" question.
Are you happy to see me or is that a banana in your pocket?