The director of organizational development for a large corporation shared the following story with us:
“Recently we were in a brainstorming meeting. The ideas were coming fast and furious until our newest employee, a young man we hired two weeks prior because of his energy and creativity, threw out an idea. Almost before the idea had even left his lips, one of the senior people in the meeting said sarcastically, “That’ll never work.”
“There was a moment of uncomfortable silence and the meeting continued. I noticed that our new employee had slunk down in his chair and never said another word during the meeting. He didn’t say a word in meeting we had two days later either. I wondered if he would ever feel free to contribute the creative spirit we had seen in him.
“This incident transported me back to fifth grade. My teacher had placed a basket of fruit at the front of our class and asked us to sketch it. I worked hard at my drawing, and when it was complete, I proudly strode up to my teacher to show her my work of art. My teacher glanced down at my sketch and said, “You used the wrong paper.” She then turned her attention to another student. Dejected, I shuffled back to my seat and slunk down in my chair. I never tried to do anything artistic again.
Our words and actions can heal or hurt, build or undermine another person’s self-confidence, improve relationships or sow distrust. This is true for managers, supervisors and leaders at any level. The FISH! For Leaders video series helps leaders to build more trusting relationships that help their employees work with greater commitment, engagement and creativity.
To learn more about The FISH! For Leaders Series, call 1-800-695-4534 or visit us at FISH! FOR LEADERS