The dynamics in almost any organization make it very difficult for senior managers to hear the unfiltered truth from lower-level managers. In their 2004 Harvard Review article: How to Have an Honest Conversation About Your Business Strategy, co-authors Michael Beer and Russell Eisenstat present the methodology they've developed for getting the truth about an organization's issues out in front so that senior management can do something useful with it (Beer, & Eisenstat, 2004). Their method involves assembling a task force comprised of the organization’s most effective managers to collect data about strategic and organizational problems, thereby sending a clear message from the senior team that it is serious about learning the real truth (Beer, & Eisenstat, 2004). A discussion can then take place between task force members and the senior team, facilitating an open conversation alternating between advocacy and inquiry. The discussion has to focus on the most important issues. It also has to be collaborative, allowing employees to be honest without fear of retribution (Beer, & Eisenstat, 2004). This structured, direct input from key stakeholders motivates senior teams to make changes they otherwise might not make. Engaging in this process leads to dramatic changes in how businesses are organized and managed. Honest conversations at the outset result in ongoing conversations that further improve performance (Beer, & Eisenstat, 2004).
In my previous post, Performance Anxiety: Understanding the Root of the Problem - Part One, I shared my perspective on the root cause of the problem and introduced the concepts of the "Voice Inside Your Head" (VIYH) as the problem and becoming the dispassionate observer or witness as the solution (read Part One to get up to speed). In Part Two, I will share some specific things you can do, techniques, if you will, to help you achieve a quiet mind and overcome performance anxiety. Here we go...
Stage fright, fear of public speaking, Glossophobia—whatever you choose to call it; it’s a very real problem. Research shows that fear of public speaking is the number one common phobia on the planet. We fear performing in front of an audience more than we fear dying. Three out of every four of us suffers from performance anxiety.
We all have these inspirational sources in our lives. They need not be celebrities. They only need our focused attention. They are our friends, family members, coworkers, pets, flowers, plants, trees, rivers, lakes, oceans, mountains and sky. They ebb and flow, rise and shine, move and groove or remain perfectly motionless so we can contemplate their beauty and pure essence.
So where does that lead us in the future? I think the generalities that exist and the assumptions we make about the generations, I don't know that that's going to go away in the next 10-15 years. How we get through this recession will be very telling in terms of what gets learned in the workforce. I 'm hoping that Baby Boomers will gain a new-found respect in the workplace.