Break Down The Silos

You will never achieve seamless customer service if there exists a breakdown of cooperation between interdependent work units. Symptoms of polarization and distrust include:

   One group feels it gets little respect from the other

   Individuals from one group regularly bad mouth the other 

   The groups routinely quarrel over trivial issues

   There is an abundance of finger-pointing and scapegoating 

   One group feels the other gets preferential treatment

To remedy the situation, ask each group to answer the following questions:

   What are the other group’s expectations of us?

   Which expectations would the other group say we are meeting?

   Which expectations would the other group say we are not meeting?

   What can we do better to facilitate the other group’s success?

   What do we want the other group to do better to meet our needs?

Bring the two groups together to share their responses to these questions. Have each group advance up to three solid commitments for positive change that will make the other’s job more satisfying and effective.

By utilizing this team building exercise, you can breakdown the silos that exist between job classifications, shifts, and work units and replace them with bridges of effective communication.


About mhc68

Michael H. Cohen is a nationally recognized author, workshop leader, and consultant specializing in leadership and team development, organizational communications, employee relations, conflict management, and customer service. Mike Cohen is committed to the belief that employees are responsible for their own intrinsic motivation, work ethic, service orientation, positive attitude, and constructive behaviors. He has developed a reputation for providing practical and motivational presentations, and tailor made consultation services that exceed participants' expectations. Mr. Cohen served as Director of Employee Relations and Development and later as Vice President of Human Resources at Weiss Memorial/University of Chicago Hospitals for twelve years. He has taught Interpersonal Communications, Group Process, and Organizational Behavior at Northwestern, Roosevelt, and Dominican Universities, Triton, and Oakton Community Colleges.
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