What is Denial Management and How Does It Work?


Denial Management is an organizational strategy that relies on keeping employees from questioning the company’s goals and strategies. It is a relatively new management strategy, though it has been growing in popularity. Denial Management can come in many forms: some organizations use more overt tactics while others rely on a slightly more ambiguous system. Nevertheless, it all functions as the same underlying strategy and tactic. Keep reading to learn more about how this management technique works so you can make sure your team isn’t being trapped by it.

What is Denial Management and How Does It Work?

What is Denial Management?

Denial management is a system that encourages employees to keep their heads down, work hard, and not question anything. The system is specifically designed to keep the organization’s goals and strategies out of sight and out of mind so as to avoid avoiding being questioned. It is a management approach that is sometimes referred to as “gag orders,” “crack-downs,” or “root canal procedures” because it involves deep, invasive measures to prevent anyone from even mentioning the practice.

How Does Denial Management Work?

Employees are discouraged from bringing up the company’s strategies and goals to avoid having their own ideas questioned. They are also encouraged to focus solely on doing their own jobs so as to prevent any outside influence from creeping in. Leaders focus on maintaining a “No Talking” environment. This means that employees are discouraged from asking any questions, even those that are obvious, straightforward, or common sense. To avoid being questioned, employees are also discouraged from thinking critically about the company’s goals and strategies. Employees are also discouraged from sharing information with each other because, if there is any one individual who knows something, then the rest of the employees are less likely to learn about it. This closes the loop on information and knowledge so as to keep it all within the organization’s walls.

Why is Denial Management so Popular?

There are many reasons that denial management for hospitals has become so popular in recent years. First, everyone is looking for something to blame. Employees are looking for someone to blame when things go wrong and they receive poor service, products, or results. If they can point their finger at the company and say “they did it!” they can take a little bit of the blame off of themselves. Another reason that Denial Management is so popular is that it’s easy. It doesn’t require a lot of resources or effort to implement, and it also avoids a lot of potential controversies. If a CEO were to tell their employees, “We don’t have any strategies or goals. We just do what is best,” then some people might question the validity of the statement, but there is nothing inherently wrong with that.

How to Identify and Avoid the Traps of Denial Management?

– Recognize the signs of denial management. When you see signs of denial management, you must be willing to confront them head-on. If you see employees avoiding questions, avoiding knowledge, and avoiding each other, then you need to confront them on it. You can’t let people get away with being rude and avoiding the truth because it’s going to come back to hurt them in the end. – If a question or conversation gets too deep into strategy or goals, then shut it down immediately and redirect the conversation back to doing the job or task at hand. – Keep your own mouth shut. The best way to keep employees from asking questions is to keep your own mouth shut. If you have a lot of knowledge and insight, then be willing to pass that along as an outside expert. If you notice that a lot of questions are being avoided or shut down, then start passing along knowledge and information that is common knowledge. – Be willing to walk the extra mile. If someone asks you to do something that seems outside of your job description or breaks any company rules, then do it. If you have to push the envelope just a little bit to get that done, then do it. If you have to go above and beyond to get it done, then do that too. – Learn to say no. Many employees are afraid to say no because they think it will offend the customer, the boss, or their team. This is a huge problem because it happens all the time. There are certain things that you are just not going to do. If someone asked you to do something that was against company rules or outside of your job description, then tell them no.


Denial Management is a strategy that is designed to keep employees from questioning their work, the work of their colleagues, and even the work of the company itself. It is a strategy that is becoming more popular as employees are looking for someone to blame when things go wrong. This can be difficult to detect, as employees can often seem like they are avoiding questions, yet they may actually be too busy to do their jobs.


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