Responding to tough times and cut-backs….

by Rod Smith

tread wisely, don't bleed.....

When your organization suffers through layoffs, cutbacks….

If you are staying or going don’t bleed, spread rumors, or generate further confusion. Don’t talk to people on the ‘outside’ or ruin the perceptions of innocent parties. Use your “I” voice, not a “we” voice. Speak only of your own perceptions and only when specifically asked. Be a “step-down” transformer (one who reduces anxiety) rather than a “step-up” transformer (one who escalates or amplifies anxiety).

Try to listen more than you talk. Resist rumors and “toxic talk” by stopping it in its tracks.

Resist the natural urge to confuse the work environment with family. Your workplace might be “like a family” but it is not. Families usually accommodate immature behavior. Workplaces usually cannot afford it. Workplaces hire and fire; families usually don’t.

Remember there are no “closed” doors or absolutely private conversations. Everything you say must pass through your internal filter of: “Is it true, helpful, kind, necessary?” It is truly a remarkable day when a person discovers that not everything he or she thinks or feels has to be expressed.

How you respond under stress (even under perceived unfairness) will speak volumes about the kind of human you are. How you go (terminate, depart, say goodbye) may invalidate everything you accomplished while employed.

One Comment to “Responding to tough times and cut-backs….”

  1. Good advice. However I sometimes blow things out of proportion just to get attention. The South African public service is constantly in some crisis. This might be true financial constrains, but this is also a well known managerial technique used by the likes of Steve Jobs(Apple computers). So my approach is to create the biggest fire possible regarding my problem to make sure it gets attention. If we are short of equipment in operating theater I paint the worst possible scenario. Sometimes I believe myself and this affects my personal perception. I do try to keep my amplifications of ant heaps away from those who can not influence it.

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