Squeak At Your Own Risk …


I hate to be a kicker,

I always long for peace, But the wheel that does the squeaking, Is the one that gets the grease.”

Josh Billings (probably)

However …

 The squeaky wheel doesn’t always get greased.

It often gets replaced.”

~ John Peers

This is not the most stirring support for speaking up and speaking out in your organization.  The underlying concept is that when you see something that needs to be addressed, you should say something. 

Too often, we sit silently in meetings or one-on-one’s, thinking one thing, but saying “OK” or “Sure”, instead of what we might like to say.

Peers reminds us that “getting greased” has two distinct meanings:   In one case, you get what you need and in the other …. oops.

Why might those responsible decide to remove the person sounding the alarm, and not fix the problem?

1)  If they do not respond well to how someone is squeaking.  How we say it is sometimes more important than what we say.

2)  If the squeaking is less costly to the organization than the fixing of said squeaking.  Everything broken does not need fixing.

3)  If someone with responsibility would have to take ownership of that which is causing the squeaking and does not wish to do so.  Accountability is not always seen as a positive thing.

4)  When the squeaker only believes they have identified the cause and solution, but do not have all the needed information.  Ready, fire, aim …

5)  When the organizational culture is more “don’t rock the boat” than “Sail the tempestuous seas”.   The squeaking in this case is a far lesser problem than trying to improve a culture.

Maybe the real lesson here is that if you choose to squeak, you better be an essential part of the system or so clear and convincing in what you say that the problem is addressed appropriately, rather than that “oops” I mentioned earlier.

Wondering what made me think about this on a frigid Monday morning in the Heartland ….


1 thought on “Squeak At Your Own Risk …

  1. Pingback: People Skills Lessons Learned: Community Festival of Experience! #peopleskills - Kate Nasser

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