Do you have blockers in your organisation?
When it comes to feeling like you’re organisation is failing to reach particular goals, I’ll be sure that you’re baffled.
From where you’re standing and as you focus on the details, you and your senior management team are doing everything they seemingly can, and yet you’re still not moving forward.
You’re told by the person responsible for the failing area that there are operational, time, money or staff constraints and work is getting done to overcome this, but these problems are never solved.
You continue to have faith and go back to the drawing board but to be perfectly honest, it’s groundhog day.
Is what you’re being told the truth?
It’s hard to think the person you or someone that you trust hired, is not up to the challenge set.
Regardless of how disappointing this may feel, being aware of this and taking it on the chin is the best way to get your organisation working the way you need things to work.
If you’ve ever found yourself or are currently in this scenario, you may have a blocker working in your organisation.
What is a blocker, and how do they harm?
A blocker is an individual that stops progression. This can be in a multitude of ways and may be conscious or unconscious.
Blockers can hold any position within an organisation; however, blockers who are in a position of authority can do the most damage.
This is because they have a multitude of people and situations they can use as reasons for work not being done.
Regardless of whether the blocker is aware of their behaviour, the results are still the same. They are accountable for this.
Their job is to make things work, and if this has not happened time and time again, they need to put under the spotlight.
The worst thing about blockers in high positions is that they want complete control, and when good meaning staff members attempt to share ideas to improve the work environment, blockers can be dismissive towards them.
They will not give staff reasons for dismissing their ideas and will rely on the “I’m the manager. I make the decisions” air of authority, which can often silence individuals.
Not only will their dismissive manner result in a demotivated team (who may end up leaving,) it will also cause fractures among staff as the blocker continues to do whatever they want.
Professionalism and team culture are not terms a blocker identifies with when it comes to the treatment of staff or with getting the work done.
How do I know there is a blocker in my organisation?
You will probably have a good idea of failed areas within your organisation, meaning that the next step is to begin working and shadowing individuals to see what it is they do. You will then start to see what is happening for yourself.
If you come across issues, your first port of call will be to provide a solution and see if the blocker in question is capable of taking your suggestion onboard or blocking it.
When this occurs, you will have your answer and will be able to start putting strategies in place to undo the damage the blocker has caused, not only to your company but also to staff morale.
Blockers don’t need to be ‘let go’, but it may come to that.
I’m sure you’ll agree that there are times when we all go through a bad patch and need support from our colleagues and superiors, which is why it is crucial to tread lightly and refrain from all-out destruction of the blockers ego.
The situation can change, but it also relies on the blockers behaviour and acceptance of your input.
Increasing communication between yourself, the blocker and members of staff managed by the blocker will help to provide valuable insight to see if changes happen.
This will also send a message to the blocker that transparency is necessary at all times. At the same time, staff members will be relied upon to feedback to you through a variety of communication strategies you have put in place.
Like Mark Sanborn said,” In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.”
If there are blockers who continue to dismiss input from others and a need for open communications among staff, then it may be time that you part ways.
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