So here you are, sitting in the same situation that you’ve faced many times before. People you deal with on a day-to-day basis ask for your opinion on something relevant to your area of expertise. You give them your feedback based on years of experience and then it’s ignored. Needless to say, you always thoroughly enjoy your daily exercise in the expulsion of hot air and wasting your breath.
Does that sound familiar?
That’s right, it seems like its more of a pleasantry than anything else. A way to feel included or the illusion of “We acknowledge your intellect, experience and want to act on your opinion if it makes sense.” In reality it’s “we are merely engaging you A.K.A the mindless lemming for the sake of the process.”
You know what! That just makes things worse and when I tell you that I would rather not bother to give my opinion because it’s not valued. Start waking up to the reality of the issue. Don’t act ignorant as if you don’t know what I’m are talking about. You are doing it wrong again x2 #EPICFAIL. Obviously in your world it’s clearly OK for people who have spent years of their lives working in a specialized career to waffle on and dance like a monkey for the sake of it, when they are asked for feedback. It’s about the most frustrating thing ever. I mean I’ve ranted a lot about things but this takes the cake and the box that it came in. Sure I get that there are priorities and other concerns that may cause you to override common logic. But the least you can do is not create the expectation that you encourage objectivity. Just say this is happening, end of story and don’t ask what people think. Or maybe rephrase your question so that there is no leverage for perception of choice.
I don’t go to my team and say “Hey guys we would like to do XYZ. What are your concerns and what do you think is needed to accommodate that change? Then turn around and say “That’s right you keep breathing in to that hot air balloon and maybe your ideas will make it past the black void of wasting your breath.” Do years of service count for something? No, apparently not. All they count for are the amount of years you’ve been trapped in this illusion of sunshine, care bears and rainbows.
Wow, I’m so mad right now that I can barely form sentences and I don’t think I’ve ever been this mad ranting but there’s always a first time for everything including my opinion being taken seriously by the powers that be. What’s more do people have to do to earn respect? How many times does a person have to prove their worth. The fact that these questions even come up means that the system is failing. At the end of the day, you end up feeling like you’ve played way too many games of “Circus Charlie” because you’ve jumped through so many hoops.
Now what really takes the cake is when a suggestion which was actually yours to begin with. Is provided by one of the “powers that be” months later down the line because previous recommendations have failed. Why didn’t you guys just listen the first time around? Sadly the only retribution you get is the silent malicious joy you feel deep inside when you know your idea was right in the first place. Although it took forever to realize and you will never get to say I told you so. Because that would make them wrong. So you just end up telling your friends what a champion you are while they look at you with pity in their eyes.
You would think that a persons feedback would matter after they have clearly invested a lot of their own personal time in to making things better by being proactive. But no, all you really are is a meat puppet with someone’s hand so far up your ass that you lose the will to operate independently or offer any free thought. Constantly downplaying people’s feedback does not encourage empowerment. It hampers an individuals need to act of their own accord to look for ways to make things streamlined or improve operational efficiencies. How do you expect anyone to continue to feel motivated or believe they are offering value if you do not value them?
When you put a passionate person in a position of responsibility due to their experience and expertise then expect them to offer resistance. Expect them to counter your ideas and argue about the feasibility thereof because they are making the right decision and they know it. That’s why you put them there in the first place. Because you trust them to make the right call. Listen to them and seriously consider their position on the matter. Don’t contradict yourself as a leader and use any constructive feedback you get as a learning curve because no one is perfect. Remember to step back and acknowledge your own faults as you would expect of your own team. If you don’t get what I’m saying here then you have more than likely employed a group of mindless zombies who lack the will to care.
You know you are failing your responsibilities when your top performers start agreeing with absolutely everything you place on the table. Unless of course they have recently developed the ambition of a sloth or have always existed solely to encourage your misguided management style by kissing your ass. At that stage, it may be a little to late to fix your mistakes.
PS: All this talk of cake and waffles has made me hungry…