Corporate CPR Episode 95: Why You May Not Be Hearing Your Employees

September 27, 2023

On today’s episode we are talking about why you may not be hearing your employees.

Marsha Acker is known internationally as a facilitator of meaningful conversations, a host of dialogue, and a passionate agilest. Through her keynotes, books, workshops, and leadership coaching, she empowers leaders around the world to show up authentically in their lives and work — and to grow their leadership range so they can create sustainable, intentional, and positive impact. Drawing on systems thinking, structural dynamics, agility, and over 25 years’ experience in the field helping leaders and teams collaborate and align, she developed Build Your Model for Leading Change to support those stepping into new leadership roles and responsibilities.

Episode Highlights:

Front Page Crisis in Leadership: The concept of a “front page crisis,” is where leaders must deal with high-stakes situations and receive feedback from employees that becomes public news. This emphasizes the importance of effective leadership during critical moments.

Communication Styles Matter: “Structural dynamics” can be a framework for understanding communication styles, including power, affect, and meaning. Leaders need to recognize and adapt to these communication domains to improve their effectiveness in various situations.

Childhood Stories Impact Leadership: Childhood experiences often shape how leaders respond in professional settings. Exploring and understanding these early stories can help leaders navigate their communication patterns and behaviors more effectively in the workplace.

Three Operating Systems:

  1. Open System: Encourages open dialogue and participation from all.
  2. Closed System: Involves hierarchical decision-making with limited autonomy.
  3. Random System: Emphasizes autonomy and fosters innovation.

Four Conversation Actions:

  1. Move: Sets direction and proposes new ideas.
  2. Follow: Supports existing ideas.
  3. Oppose: Provides a different perspective or correction.
  4. Bystand: Offers neutral observations.

Identifying Communication Issues:

  1. Repetitive Conversations: Repeated discussions without resolution signal communication problems.
  2. Resistance to Opposition: If opposing viewpoints aren’t welcomed, diversity in discussions is lacking.
  3. Subtle Signs of Concern: Unvoiced concerns may manifest as topic shifts or silence in meetings.

Marsha’s Top 2 Takeaways for the Audience:

  1. Separate the What from the How in meetings and conversations. What is the topic and how are people engaging?
  2. Catch yourself when you start to defend your point of view. Instead, try to bring inquiry into the conversation.

How to connect with Marsha:



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