Meraki Consulting Partner

Fixing A Broken Culture - The Cost of Silence

The Cost of Silence: The Unspoken Code [of Managers, not Leaders]

The Tragic Effects A Broken Culture Plays On Your People

Maybe your organization has broken this code and you reap the rewards of a company culture so phenomenal that you effortlessly attract the best of the best, both internally and externally. 

If every member of your team, every customer you serve, and every third-party vendor you utilize sings your praise and glory to the high heavens… stop reading, this blog post is not for you.

For most organizations though, there is someone – or several someones – amongst your ranks who is acutely aware there are major issues not being acknowledged, much less addressed.  Remember “The Emperor’s New Clothes” folktale? Has this become your work life? If only the emperor would realize he or she has no clothes – and wouldn’t shoot the messenger who points it out. 

Guess what? – You’re not alone.

From Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace Report: The majority of the world’s employees are “quit quitting” (59%)

Even worse – “Quiet quitting” employees know what they would change about their workplace and 41% of the time it’s the culture – not pay or well-being!

Appalling. It breaks my heart and triggers me. 

Why? I’m glad you asked, let me tell you: We can all DO so much BETTER. This past week, just going about my day… I’ve witnessed first hand at some of the companies I work with: gossip, lack of accountability, reluctance, aggression, secrecy, defensiveness, fear – all the makings of a really good late-night drama, but unfortunately, this was real life, and even more so, this was from leadership teams.

Maybe you have tried to break the code of silence within your organization and foster change. Perhaps that’s what brings you here today – memories of trying to foster change but intimidating the emperor instead (and the blowback that ensued). Or perhaps you have delayed trying because:

  • If only we had the budget and the time. [The Manager as Victim]
  • If only the candidate pool was filled with unicorns that would magically step into a role and nail it with little to no training, input, direction, or role clarity. [The People as Villain]
  • If only the people we employ would set themselves on fire so everyone else could stay warm. [The Ungrateful Employee]

Okay – My culture is broken, how does executive coaching come in?

As an executive coach, what I love about my role in all of this, is that I get an exclusive front-row seat, right on the 50-yard line, to watch it all unfold. And I don’t have to pick sides because the agreement is that everyone wins or we don’t move forward. 

I get to help break the code of silence! The code that suggests, rather than explicitly states, “We will all pretend everything is great.” And for a while, things are great. Until they’re not. That’s where I come in.

When you start to see:

  • Quiet quitting
  • Employee engagement tanking
  • Negative reviews
  • Loss of customers
  • Top talent leaving
  • Burnout
  • Break downs
  • Near financial ruin

…You should have hired a coach a few months ago, but I digress.

But we have options. We just need to determine what winning looks like for you and develop an action plan around it. Simple. Not easy. From developing a root-cause analysis or conducting a 360 Review (going right to the well of information and ideas that are held by your people) – or a wealth of tactics in between, we can break this code of silence within your organization so that everyone can win.

Break the cycle of avoidance and deflection. Physiologically, fight or flight has kept us alive for generations. It serves a purpose: Survival. 

However, I’m not a saber-tooth tiger out to eat you alive…nor are your people. Although ignorance can be blissful, it can also be lethal. It kills relationships and more businesses than you think.

And so, I challenge you!

Rip off the blindfold and step into the light. It will be uncomfortable at first. Maybe even a little painful. In short order, I promise you will adapt and wonder why you ever stayed so long in the dark. 

There is beauty in imperfection.

P.S. Need help with the blindfold? Let’s Talk. You don’t have to walk alone.