We’ve all been in the office of a professional and felt intimidated and rushed. Whether it was a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant, we felt mildly stupid and taking too much of their time. Often it wasn’t something they said; it was simply all the diplomas on the walls and the big words they used and the speed of their speech.
Let’s make sure that we don’t make employees feel the same way when they seek our help as ethics & compliance professionals. For example, they should not feel bad about the fact that we can spot from a mile away a conflict of interest that is invisible to them, or that they didn’t know how to make a “noisy exit” during the inappropriate sales discussion at the trade show.
I once had a mentor who always took time to listen to me. Whenever I was facing a difficult situation and needed advice, he’d say “Let’s go for a walk”. Such comforting words! I knew I would get all the time needed, all the attention necessary.
Perhaps we can’t go on a walk with every employee seeking help. But we can make them feel seen and heard. Sometimes, that’s all they want.