Team Whistle Blowing: Duty or Disloyalty?
by Kate Nasser |
Leaders, what do you expect of your team members about whistle blowing? If a team member is slacking off, not contributing to the mission, working against the mission — is it the duty of other team members to speak up about it? If yes, whom should they speak to?
Or would you see this as a disloyalty and poor teamwork? Many reply it depends on the situation.
Do your team members think whistle blowing is a duty or disloyalty? Do they know what you think? Have you discussed this openly with the team?
So often when a team forms, there is great focus on purpose, goals, and getting to know each other. It is a good beginning for a productive team.
Yet productivity, morale, and results can plummet where confusion reigns around whistle blowing.
- Will I be seen as a rat?
- What retribution will I suffer?
- Will the leader see this as intruding on his/her domain?
- Will the leader label me a trouble maker?
In the worst case of this confusion, cliques can develop, negativity can spread, and time is spent griping vs. working. A recent development – employees were fired for Facebook posts decrying a peer who was slacking off and The National Labor Relations Board judge ruled the employees back to work.
Having the conversation at work vs. griping on Facebook is far more valuable! How sure are you that your team knows your position — duty or disloyalty? Have you ever said to yourself, “why didn’t they tell me before it got so bad?”
The Valuable Conversation
If you are ready to broach the subject, these guidelines deliver.
- The Focus: Team ownership of the results and reaching full potential. Is this team trying to be a high performance team? What does that mean? What impact does individual commitment and performance ultimately have on results?
Trust: Spend time discussing it. How do each assess trust? What can team members do to sustain trust when disagreeing and/or speaking up about poor performance?
The Approach: State perceptions and ask questions instead of declaring and accusing. Statements worded as perceptions followed by questions keep communication flowing. Declarations by peers can be inaccurate and accusatory questions can build resentments.
There are many times when having this conversation is critical: Forming a new team, becoming the new leader of an existing team, bringing on new team members, merging teams into one, and before major changes or stress.
It may not be the most comfortable conversation yet not having it breeds more discomfort.
I am happy to provide you with more targeted details for having this conversation, email@example.com.
From my experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach
What do you think? Is it a duty or a disloyalty?
©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, Masters Org. Psychology, turns interaction obstacles into teamwork and business success. From inspiration to action, Kate will help you fill the gaps of diversity with business wins. See this site for custom workshop info, customer results, and book Kate now.