All of us experience professional bias and professional intimidation at some point during our careers. However, some of us continuously experience this type of workplace intimidation on a daily basis.
Why is that?
Ultimately, Yesterday’s business models tend to reinforce departmental silos and, what I call, Us versus Them mindset. This mindset places people in competitive or adversarial situations, rather than collaborative ones.
Often, legacy business models and mindset allow the folks with the highest levels of education and greatest number of professional acronyms after their name to maintain elitist and exclusive habits. Think about your daily interactions.
We all have experienced the workplace phenomenon of professional bias. Think about it, because it sometimes is very subtle, before it gets really blatant.
We sit in meetings and look around the table, not sure just who everyone is and “what they do.” However, there is one thing we know, for sure.
We cannot understand a thing anyone is saying. Why? Everyone is dedicated to communicating using their own professional discipline’s specific terminology. Exclusively.
There really is no profitability in maintaining that workplace strategy, is there?
And there you have it. Professional bias and intimidation encourages everyone to stick to their own kind, instead of reaching out across the organization to collaborate.
Why let professional bias and intimidation create a culture of exclusivity, instead of a more inclusive workplace culture?
Us versus Them mindset is about unconscious bias. Why should knowledge workers continue to marginalize – or exclude – manual workers from decisions impacting everyone involved? And, why should that line of business unit leader hesitate to reach out to her counterpart in Operations, to have a cup of coffee and discuss what each other “does”? If everyone even knows who the other person “is.”
Or, consider the administrators, customer service reps and loading dock workers who continuously are asked: “Hey, can you do this for me?” Does everyone even know who they are, because these professionals offer a wealth of competitive knowledge to the organization. What happens when they are asked: “Can you weigh in on this issue, scenario, situation we are wrestling with?”
Any way we look at it, productivity and profitability suffer when the organizational culture is characterized by professional bias and workplace intimidation.
Isn’t it time to poke holes in corporate silos and departmental mindset that keep everyone sequestered, instead of collaborative? Build a stronger value stream in the process, one millimeter at a time.
So, tomorrow, ask “that” co-worker to have a cup of coffee. Instead of chatting about the weather, talk about the challenges each of you experience in your functional roles. How might you collaborate?
Travel one millimeter outside your current, professional comfort level. You will be amazed at what everyone can accomplish, together.
Start moving one millimeter forward, today. Take these next steps.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ Speaking & Consulting, catalyzes trust-based, purpose-driven, cross-functional leadership. She leverages Voice of the Customer and storytelling to translate across communication and collaboration disconnects impacting successful business outcomes across people and professional disciplines. Babette is a cross-functional business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of the ASQ, SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.