Lightning Rods and Trust Elicitors

Lightning rods are one of those really simple, yet essential, feature of any building since the 19th century. They primarily attract lightning and divert them without causing harm.

This term occurred to me in a metaphorical context, in response to a handful of events that occurred in the new workplace of mine. Note that I use this term primarily for the attraction element rather than the diverting negative forces aspect.

The events I mentioned were around a handful colleagues from different teams coming up to vent out their work related “issues”. This was not a typical “my job sucks” crib that lots of people tend to do. It was more subtle and I dare say quite bleak for the colleagues.

This got me thinking on many levels- what makes people trust you to have such a conversation? What characteristics have you displayed so far to earn that trust? If you have not worked with these individuals to earn this trust, as was the case with me, what personality aspects influenced this response? Does this represent a breakdown in the official means of capturing employee moods? Can such a channel be leveraged officially?

I will provide responses to each of the questions, but wanted to learn of your experiences. Please feel free to comment or leave a trackback. Tags: ,


  1. Mahesh, good to find you in blog world. Subscribed!!!

    It is just like you talking with us. Keep your post coming…

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