Punishing The Messenger

To continue with my comments on the book by Marshall
Goldsmith, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” this
week I will be discussing the habit of: Punishing The
Messenger.

Goldsmith was being very kind with his terminology of
punishing the messenger.  As I have viewed this habit in
action, I have found the term, “killing the messenger” to
be more appropriate. 

You know the story – an employee walks into a supervisor’s
office with news of a problem or with some advice as to
how to avoid a problem and the boss throws a hissy fit at
the employee.  The result is that the employee will most
likely never present bad news or a suggestion to that
supervisor again.

HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: Just say, “thanks” or “thank you,
I’ll deal with it.”  Nobody wants to hear bad news.  But
be thankful that you are hearing it.  Blowing-up at the
messenger doesn’t change the message, but it does change
the messenger.

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