Perceptions of Work Scenarios and Organizational Communication

Respond to the following work scenarios according to this scale: 

A – Always 

B – Sometimes 

C – Never 

  1. I believe and trust everything that my superior tells me. 

C – Never 

  1. With communication, I process and filter the details to my advantage. 

B – Sometimes 

  1. Information is shared across my organization efficiently. 

B – Sometimes 

  1. Open and honest communication is always encouraged. 

A – Always 

  1. Rumors and grapevine are effectively managed. 

C – Never 

After honestly answering the above questions, I realize that although I love my job and appreciate my teams, my managers, my peers, and the owners above me, there is a lack of trust in my organization that has been created by years of inconsistency, withholding facts, and even manipulation. 

Oftentimes over the years, I have been lured into performing by a carrot held in front of me by an owner:  “If your revenue gets to $5 million, I’ll give you a $200,000/year salary” or “After getting this deal, you’ll be able to write your own check and give yourself an amazing raise.”  In reality, my salary has been exactly the same for the last six years, despite amazing performance.  Despite leading the team and hitting every target and expectation, the goal line always moved, and I never received the promised reward.  This has created a distrust and led me to understand that any promise or incentive that came out of the owner’s mouth was a lie.  Lying is a barrier to communication, and it taught me to distrust and create my own barriers (Ingham, 2019).  The constant manipulation also taught me that I was not valued although I made him rich. 

I find that I process and filter details to my advantage sometimes.  Whenever presented with new information, I hold them against my previous experiences and reduce my own uncertainty by turning the information into something that works to my advantage (Jackson & Hogg, 2010).  It is a defense mechanism and a survival instinct to process the information in a way that benefits myself and my ego. 

Most of the time, information is shared efficiently in my organization, although sometimes people withhold information in the misguided belief that information gives them power.  Some people in the organization believe that there is a cost to sharing the information.  They feel that they will lose an opportunity to gain.  They feel that they are keeping a secret and it gives them power to choose who they want to share it with (Jiang, 2019).  This can be detrimental when the information is impactful or important.  Sometimes, they withhold the information because they are ashamed or embarrassed.  For instance, if they did not close a deal or if a customer cancelled their contract, some people withhold that information, when it is important to respond and plan for that change in revenue. 

At my company, we always encourage open and honest communication.  It does not always happen, but we do what we can to encourage it.  From creating andon cords to encouraging constant feedback and creation of feedback loops, we try to encourage that communication.  Unfortunately, dishonesty and keeping secrets poisons what could be a perfect flow of information. 

Lastly, the rumor mill and grapevine are never managed.  Everyone in the company chats constantly with everyone else, and there are a lot of personal rumors that get passed quickly throughout the company.  We have absolutely no control over them and no handle on them.  The rumors go unchecked and add to the sense of dishonesty and secret-keeping in the company. 

References: 

Ingham, T. (2019, August 10). Barriers to Communication. https://tobyingham.com/barriers-to-communication/ 

Jackson, R. & Hogg, M. (2010). Perceptual filtering. In Encyclopedia of identity (Vol. 1, pp. 538-538). SAGE Publications, Inc. https://www.doi.org/10.4135/9781412979306.n173 

Jiang, Z. (2019, November 14). Why Withholding Information at Work Won’t Give You an Advantage. https://hbr.org/2019/11/why-withholding-information-at-work-wont-give-you-an-advantage 

Published by artocain

I am a DevOps advocate, not because I am a developer (I’m not), but because of the cultural shift it represents and the agility it gains. I am also a fan of the theory of constraints and applying constraint management to all areas of business: sales, finance, planning, billing, and all areas of operations. My speaking: I have done a lot of public speaking in my various roles over the years, including presentations at SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and Central PA Chamber of Commerce events as well as events that I have organized at MePush. My writing: I write a lot. Blog articles on the MePush site, press-releases for upcoming events to media contracts, posts on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/artocain/), presentations on Slideshare (https://www.slideshare.net/ArtOcain), posts on the Microsoft Tech Community, articles on Medium (https://medium.com/@artocain/), and posts on Quora (https://www.quora.com/profile/Art-Ocain-1). I am always looking for new places to write, as well. My certifications: ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Web Application Security Professional (CWASP), Certified Data Privacy Practitioner (CDPP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), VMware Certified Professional (VCP-DCV), Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE), Microsoft 365 Security Administrator, Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator, Azure Administrator, Azure Security Administrator, Azure Architect, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, ITIL v4 Foundations, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner See certification badges on Acclaim here: https://www.youracclaim.com/users/art-ocain/badges My experience: I have a lot of experience from developing a great company with great people and culture to spinning up an impressive DevOps practice and designing impressive solutions. I have been a project manager, a President, a COO, a CTO, and an incident response coordinator. From architecting cloud solutions down to the nitty-gritty of replacing hardware, I have done it all. When it comes to technical leadership, I am the go-to for many companies. I have grown businesses and built brands. I have been a coach and a mentor, developing the skills and careers of those in my company. I have formed and managed teams, and developed strong leaders and replaced myself within the company time and again as I evolved. See my experience on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/artocain/

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