Carol Bowser: What is Stonewalling?

Communications at Work: What is Stonewalling?

Employee Relations
Written by Carol Bowser

Here’s a conversation about the different forms of stonewalling, which can really get in the way of collaborating and brainstorming.

For the younger members of the audience is kind of like ghosting. We use that term in negotiations, but basically, it’s just digging your heels in and just saying, Oh, hell no. But you’re not actually telling them Oh, hell, no, you’re just behaving in an Oh, hell no sort of way.

So it can be in the form of ghosting and not responding to emails or Slack messages or in negotiations, always skirting and diverting around the conversation, never being able to actually reach an agreement.

When you’re actually managing up, what I noticed around stonewalling is a lot of managers may not have either the information or the authority to give a decision, make a decision, and give you the reasoning, but they’re not going to tell you that so then they just stonewall you by kicking you off the calendar and kicking you two weeks off.

In my world, that’s a really big deal when you’ve got a contract that needs to be executed. And you need that stakeholder to sign off on it. And they’re just not willing to do it. But they’re not willing to communicate with you what and why they’re not willing to do it.