Last Thursday’s leadership workshop was not consummated with a happy smile on the face of all the attendants. Thus, the next day, the organizor emailed everybody to see if anyone had any more to say on the topic. The email ended asking for more feedback, but then, the person wanted the follow up to be “on a positive note.”
I was toying with these thoughts and was very much attempted to reply-all with the following, but then I only sent it to the organizor because I am sure it is too far above most of people if I do.
(1) Why people express negative views when they know it is going to be anonymous? Is this the only way for people to tell what they truly think?
(2) All we have to do is to listen and understand. What happened during the meeting reveals nothing but our mental inability even to listen to anything negative without getting hot-headedly defensive. Does this attitude help to lead and transform all forces into productive and positive ones? What does it say about the accomplishment of this leadership workshop? If we cannot bear the different views, does it constitute the essence of intolerance?
I believe the company, like a person, can benefit tremendously from listening. On the note of self-checking, if the purpose of the workshop is to lead and influence, regardless of what, what do we learn if all we can say to those who express views different from that of ours is “You can leave the company if you don’t like it?” Is it so hopelessly difficult to change people who came in to workshop with prejudice and went away unchanged?
So much for a wonderful sunny Monday.