Y is for Yes Culture

Y is for Yes Culture

Yes culture is an environment in which yourself or others are expected to agree with whatever is said, done, or expected of you without question. This mentality can be especially toxic in the workplace. Bosses should uplift and lead their employees rather than hold them to unrealistic expectations and complacency. While it is good to be a go-getter at work, it is also good to hold firm boundaries.

How do I know if I am working within a yes culture?

Most of the time, when you are within a yes culture it can be subtle and difficult to tell. If you feel as if you cannot speak up to share ideas or disagree in a respectful way with your boss then you might be experiencing yes culture. It can be disheartening to feel as if your opinions and effort don’t matter in the workplace. But it is important to remember this is typically a failing in leadership. And not a failing of your performance. Demanding and relentless bosses tend to be stunted in their growth as a leader. It shows when they have a poor management style such as contributing to a yes culture.

How do I avoid or fix being part of a yes culture?

Recognizing the imbalance is the best first step. Then, creating boundaries and learning how to say “No” can be the most important things you can do. Call a meeting with your boss to discuss new boundaries you’d like to be upheld. Lay out to your boss not just your feelings, but ideas for a better work environment. Touching on both the performance aspect of your job, as well as wanting a positive work environment is better than being purely emotional. If your boss does not recognize the impact they are having on the workplace, or shows no signs of wanting to fix things, it may be time to move on.

 While working within a yes culture is not the most conducive to personal and professional growth, it does not have to be the end game for your workplace. It can be a good lesson on setting boundaries and standing your ground in a professional setting. And while it doesn’t feel great to be a part of, it can feel great to try and fix the situation at hand by just saying no!


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