In my line of business, I often hear prospects say they can fix things on their own. Yet nothing changes. If you can really make these corrections on your own, then why haven’t you done so already? The following are some of my theories on why this is so:
1. We think we can actually take on more than we can. How many times have you tried to fix something around the house only to make matters worse? The same thing frequently happens in business. Stick to what you do best and surround yourself with a team of advisors, who can help you motor through this recession while you steer the ship.
2. Talk is cheap since most consultants don’t charge for meetings with a prospect. And we all know that we don’t feel compelled to take action when the advice is free. It’s great to get things off your chest by talking with an outside consultant, but these same items will weigh you down if you fail to take action. Move one thing forward and lighten your load. You can then move another initiative forward when you are ready to take more weight off of your mind.
3. Say what you mean and mean what you say. We say our people are a priority, only between you and me, we really don’t mean it. There are a lot of businesses where people are not valued. Many organizations have a gentleman’s agreement with workers. It goes like this. “We are going to pay you lots and lots of money and in return we are going to ask you to work crazy hours and do whatever we ask you to do. Deal?” No need to improve your people practices here. Employees who sign on know exactly what they are getting into so stop saying you are going to fix things.
4. You are afraid of what you will find. Lord knows I’m just as guilty as the rest when it comes to facing issues. Take my scale for instance. If I get on it then I will actually have to do something about the data I’m receiving. I’d rather pretend my clothes have shrunk so I don’t have to make any drastic changes! Finding out what the real issues are in your own organization (especially if those issues begin with you) can be numbing. So instead, many people choose to move forward as if nothing is wrong. That is until their most valued employees seeks a separation or even worse, a divorce.
I’ll make a deal with you. I will get on the scale and face my issues if you will do the same. If you are ready to accept help, then ask for it. Just don’t ask me to reveal my weight!
Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions and author of the forthcoming book, Suddenly in Charge! Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, January 2011). Visit Roberta’s Blog on the Generations at Work or her Linked-in Group Suddenly in Charge! Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta’s monthly newsletter, HR Matters