One of My Favorite Consulting Questions

atthedoor“So how does that show up here?”

I ask this one all the time. People tell me about things that are either good or bad in their workplaces in the course of my consulting, but the descriptions are fairly broad. They are at the concept level. Things like, people have a lot of freedom here, we respect each other in this workplace, or senior management is too controlling, we don’t support each other enough here. So my question is, how does that show up? How does that actually manifest itself in behavior, interactions, words spoken, actions taken. It’s not that I don’t think their statements are not accurate (they typically are), but I need people to be thinking more concretely about what actually happens and gets said in the organization, rather than only the stories they have in their head about what is happening. Again, the stories and the behaviors are usually consistent, but if we only talk about the stories, we’re not going to change things.