Kuvat Margit Mannila
Litz Ryan (2017) writes on Forbes Ten Things You'll Hear In A Toxic Workplace (17.5.2017)
1. This is how we've always done it.
2. That's not your decision to make.
3. If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
4. Don't ask questions -- just do your job.
5. That sounds like a personal problem.
6. That's not our policy.
7. Please don't question the way we do things.
8. If you don't like the job, we'll hire someone who will.
9. You should be glad you have a job.
10. It's work — it's not supposed to be fun.
And here is how she does explain the meanings:
"This is how we've always done it" means "Nobody here wants to expend one calorie or brain cell thinking if we don't have to. We like to do things one way and never change them — or even talk about changing them."
"That's not your decision to make" means "You're a lowly employee and you don't get a vote."
"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it" means "I can't perceive, value or work with anything I can't measure, so please don't talk to me about anything like that."
Even though vision, motivation, trust, passion, innovation, collaboration, teamwork, pride, warmth, whimsy, improvisation, culture, leadership and many other business essentials cannot be measured and yet are managed by competent leaders everywhere, lousy managers still repeat the "measurement/management" lie many times a day.
Undoubtedly they find the lie comforting because it suggests that if you can't measure something, you don't have to think about it.
"Don't ask questions — just do your job" tells employees that a management team is threatened by new ideas and people with powers of observation and insight.
"That sounds like a personal problem" is what poor managers say when an employee has a concern or complaint. They say "That sounds like a personal problem" to convey the message "I don't care, and I'm not going to get involved."
"That's not our policy" is a weenie's favorite allying cry. Although real life is complicated and doesn't map well to dusty policies, fearful people will always choose to rely on a policy than to consider a situation in context, which takes more time, effort and insight.
"Please don't question the way we do things" means "My fragile ego cannot handle being questioned by a subordinate."
"If you don't like the job, we'll find someone who will" means "I am not above threatening you outright if it will preserve my shaky sense of self."
"You should be glad you have a job" means "I can dismiss you at any time. Be sure to remember my power over you." It is the last refuge of a manager who cannot rise to be human at work.
"It's work — it's not supposed to be fun" is the worst business lie of all, because of course work must be fun if it's going to produce anything worth selling or providing to anyone.
Source: Forbes (17.5.2017)