Weekend Poll: Does Your Communication Style Perpetuate Office Hierarchies?

What are we talking about this weekend? Office hierarchies, and subtle means by which a sense of rank is perpetuated.

How so? Let’s start with a look at the contact lists you or your colleagues prep and circulate throughout your organisation. Many readers update or receive contact lists for their management teams and at least a few committees or working groups.

Take a look at some of these lists. Are people listed alphabetically? Does gender play a factor? Or do individuals’ names and coordinates appear in descending order of rank, actual or perceived? Within subgroups, such as Vice Presidents or Directors, do you list them alphabetically or in the order of the degrees of influence you see them wielding?

Your organisation may have prescribed structures for contact lists, and some principals require colour coding of tables within lists. Where the order is prescribed, that’s a fact of life.

In many instances, though, such lists are developed by admin. professionals. 

Egalitarian or Hierarchical?

When you prep a contact list, are you required to default to an emulation of the org chart, in which it’s quite clear where everyone lands in the pecking order? Or do you have options?

Next, take a look at a few sets of minutes from your organisation and elsewhere. Check your email group distribution lists. What social cues are you signalling or receiving? Is there an inherent message that some people are more important than others?

Think about your personal brand. Do you place your own name at the bottom of the list, or connect it org chart-style to that of your principal? Or,  or do you generally use alphabetically ordered lists?

Please Circulate the Link to this Poll Within Your Networks

… and encourage your friends and peers to participate. Here’s a quick and simple URL you can share: http://ow.ly/mOSA302hS5D. Our focus this weekend:

Do your communication styles perpetuate or bust assumptions of office hierarchies?

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below, and I’ll publish results next Tuesday. “Select” whichever responses apply, and remember to CLICK on the “VOTE” ICON AFTER EACH QUESTION.

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