Arecent "Harvard Business Review" article examined Shell corporation's adoption of an 18-month program designed to help the company's offshore workers give and receive feedback before their upcoming deployment. With the help of an outside consultant, Shell's experiment pushed the typically tight-lipped crew to talk about everything from what it was like for them growing up to what it was like working with each other.
The study found that the shift in how the men communicated with each other, especially with respect to their vulnerabilities, contributed to an 84 percent decline in Shell's accident rates and the company's level of productivity in terms of numbers of barrels. Efficiency and reliability exceeded the industry's previous benchmark. Think for a moment: Does your workplace's culture encourage this sort of communication? Or does it unknowingly - and sometimes knowingly - promote avoidance of honest and open communications? Especially when it comes to giving and receiving constructive feedback?