Are You Working in a Paternalistic Workplace?Mar 22, 2021
In the first article of this six-part series we introduced the four workplace cultures: Defensive, Paternalistic, Open, and Collaborative. In Part 2, we revealed the Defensive workplace culture. In this third installment, we set the stage for the Paternalistic workplace. Does this sound familiar to you?
- Communication is top down. Your company mantra appears to be, “We only talk about the good things” – resulting in rampant rumors moving through the organization like a game of telephone.
- The communication pipeline is clogged with propaganda, rather than purpose or progress.
- Employees are treated like children; leadership makes decisions for them, and protects them from negative news.
- The organization is firmly hierarchical.
- People have a lot of responsibility but no decision-making authority.
- Because employees have no authority, they take no accountability.
- Healthy conflict is discouraged, with a focus on making everyone comfortable and happy through cosmetic displays.
- Conversations are safe and superficial; the tough issues are swept under the rug.
- Turn-over is heavy at the top levels of the organization.
Does this work environment sound familiar? Most people have worked in a Paternalistic enviroment, as it’s one of the most prevalent cultures. If you’re working in this environment, there are things YOU can do as an individual, or as a business leader, to transform it into a place where you can achieve your goals and enjoy going to work each day.
Here’s one simple Agreement-Building tool you can use, starting today, to create accountability and alignment. Ask the following questions at the end of meetings:
- What did we decide today?
- Who is going to do what? By when?
- Who needs to know about this?
- What is the message and the tone of that message?
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