Wednesday, August 1, 2018

You Can Get Fired For Naming The Elephant In The Room

You can get fired for naming the elephant in the room - the topic that desperately needs airtime but isn't getting it.  - Liz Ryan, Ten Reasons Good Employees Get Fired

Regulars to The Citizen will know that I don't always agree with Forbes regular contributor Liz Ryan, yet many times I do, and the fact that she has over one million people signed up to hear what she'll being saying next, well, count me in

Pretty... and just as dangerous.
One of my most memorable conversations with a domestic staffing agent some years ago was her, let's just say, speaking at me, not really with me, yet in a gentle way in which let me know that she really cared. Well, maybe, I think she cared, a little bit, but I'm still sorting it all out. One thing's for sure, though - she was speaking from a source of truth: her own experience in knowing what her clients want - and will pay her to find for them. And she had a lot of experience, that I'll say is true, along with her very successful agency that had a reputation for matching placements.

The "at me" talk went something like this:  

Your blog, and all that stuff about organizational things and managing people, well, that's all fine and good I guess, but, you have to remember these are HOMES that you're working in. My clients don't want anyone with a lot of big ideas. They just want someone to do what they are told



How interesting, then, that I see the Liz Ryan article within the Forbes publication itself, and it turns out she was right all along.  People really do get fired for having big ideas - bigger than what is needed for following orders, that is, and along the way, the most successful employees - those who connect success with longevity, anyway - have learned how to temper down any ideas they may have about changing things around them for the better. 

And as that pretty much covers most posts in The Domestic Staff Citizen, we can see her concern for my ability to retain or assume employment was that it'd be somewhat like walking through a freshly planted minefield - even if that journey was for the noble purpose of betterment of those who'd I be making the journey with, or even coming along just behind me.

Liz's article is very well written because not only is it succinct, yet gives the warnings, like my agent friend, without really too much judgement - yet instead with just the right amount of honest caution for the reader. Neither persons are necessarily telling us/me to not proceed with big ideas of making a domestic staff working environment more efficient and effective - yet, perhaps, to to so with some discernment, with some discretion for where one is:  inside a place of employment - and one that, unlike large corporations who routinely hire Industrial Psychologists to try and sort out how to be better at their game by improving the team management and service delivery processes from within -  probably never asked us/me for any new ideas in the first place. According to Liz, that may make the workplace a bad cultural fit, but I also believe she'd let the readers ultimately decide that for themselves - and to decide how cautious one then needs to be with expressing those ideas for improvement.

As one of my Organizational Behavior professors at University of San Francisco once whimsically told our class, "be very careful with your new knowledge about how teams and organizations work - because now you're really going to piss some people off."


With that said - I wish each and every one of you that delicious tasty swirl of knowledge and danger within your own domestic staff team development, as you dedicate to a greater good and seek delicately to improve both your own ability as team service providers - and those domestic staff citizens around you - and must ultimately need to decide just how much and how often to let that pretty pink elephant out into the open and roam free.

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