I used to write about this a fair amount when I was with Medical Meetings magazine--that is, giving voice to the other side, in that case, the patients. Docs always hear from each other at conferences, but not so much from those they treat. In this post, Michael Humphrey from the new blog Speaking Matters describes the impact on managers when they listen to the voices of the managed. A snip:
- Suddenly the lights go out, with only the red hue of the exit signs and glimmer of white light peeking from beneath the exit doors illuminating an otherwise dark room. A voice can be heard overhead and the room hushes to hear. “My name is Frank, and I have been with this company for eight years. I like my job and what the company stands for. But I need my leaders to focus on how I can be more effective and provide me with needed resources. I sometimes feel that my leaders care more about share price than about my life.”...
For the next eight minutes these executive listen in the dark. One after another they hear the voices of employees provide heart-felt testimonials about what they need from their leaders. As the lights are turned back on, the faces in the room have a different look. This simple exercise has had a sobering effect on the leadership team, helping them focus on whom they are leading and what is a stake.
Love this idea.