Are you Silent but Deadly?

Silent Emoticon Icon. Flat Illustration Of Silent Emoticon Vecto


An Unhealthy Role that Sabotages Team Dynamics

I remember working with one client and having limited results. As this was unusual for my process, I began to look even deeper at the situation. One team member who appeared on the surface to be respectful was actively sabotaging the initiative.

Suddenly this individual was requesting days off when facilitations were to happen. We had looked at a more vocal team member and thought they were impeding the process however the problem truly lied with the “silent and deadly” team member. You see, through this person’s silence, they were actually yelling to their fellow team members that this will not work. Their energy was like a damn in a river – completely stopping the flow of healthy communication.

Through a number of meetings, it became crystal clear that this individual had decided that the team dynamics initiative would not work and by not engaging in it with their teammates, the person ensured it could not work.

When you are challenged by change initiatives in your organization you can do the following:

  1. Have the person’s direct supervisor/manager/director meet with each team member and ask how they are doing with the initiative.
  2. Inquire about any concerns that they might have. How can you as their direct leader support them more fully in this initiative? You can ask what they have actively done to support the initiative and what within the change is causing any challenges for them.
  3. Help them to see the benefits of the change for themselves, for their team, for the organization, and for clients.
  4. If they continue to block the change, you may need to help them see that it’s not their choice and that continuing to sabotage is a form of insubordination. And deal with it accordingly.

Sometimes the person who is quiet is not really in support. Their resistance can impede change that’s required for the success of the organization. Look beyond the “problem child” who is being vocal because they may be simply giving a voice for others who are not speaking up – and in such, a helpful partner.

Uncovering the silent person can release the energy required to ensure success in your organization.

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