The wording in the accompanying visual says, “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say”. Brigette Hyacinth used this wonderful quote in an article which began with an experience many of us can relate to:
“My new boss told me to never be afraid to give feedback. The next Monday morning in a meeting, I happily shared my viewpoint on a new policy. Thereafter, I noticed my boss's disposition towards me changed. He stopped talking to me. I was shunned. I even felt the effects of this in my monthly performance appraisal, where he noted, I was not supportive of the organization, and I needed to be a better team player. The picture was quite clear – truthful feedback is not appreciated.”
This is an example of what workplace culture expert Steve Simpson calls an Unwritten Ground Rule. We are all familiar with them and they start with the statement “Around here…” as in “Around here it doesn’t pay to ask questions when the boss says how he wants things done.” Unwritten Ground Rules contradict official policy but employees soon learn to adhere to them if they want an easy life.