Have you ever sat in a meeting where people were afraid to share information that would redirect the focus of a project or change a decision about an investment? When the meeting was over, people left knowing that a different course of action could make a real difference in the outcome.When was the best solution discussed? Usually behind closed doors and away from the decision-makers that REALLY NEED TO KNOW! These decision-makers hold the purse strings to investments, bonuses and money for training and developing their people, and control the future path for growth. If anyone needs to know about problems and opportunities to improve, they do!

New hires don’t start on Day 1 afraid to share information about a problem or project. They learn to be afraid from employees who shared it in the past and were on the receiving end of a negative management response that discouraged future employee input. Management’s response to new information for decision-making or about a problem is a powerful factor in forming a corporate culture. That reaction either keeps the door open to communications between management and the workforce or closes it. When the door closes, the door to growth potential and performance improvement also closes and change becomes MUCH HARDER than it needs to be.

Being different requires courage! Breaking out of an old personality and taking on a new one is probably one of the hardest things that anyone can be asked to do. Understanding the dollar value attached to that courage helps managers keep communications open so that performance and culture can really change!