The Secret Poison in Organizational Communication
There is a particular form of behavior that poisons proper communications in any group, large or small, when exhibited by even one person. Eliminating this behavior is essential for the success of your work group and project. This poison is rarely dealt with appropriately, sometimes it is not even discussed despite its toxic effects. Defensiveness, is its name. People who exhibit this behavior may not even realize they are doing so. They certainly do not realize the negative impact to your project. It's time we learn to counter this workforce toxin.
Here are several examples of how you may experience defensiveness in others:
You: Nancy, I was looking at your report, and I noticed that you left out the schedule details
Nancy: Well, how can I get these things right when I have to stay late and put out fires?
Nancy and Jeff evidently picked up some kind of threat in what you said. They are defending themselves against something. You will likely be taken aback at these kinds of responses because you have not necessarily said anything threatening. You might think Dont bite my head off! or "Whoa, I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition!" (No one
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