16 Ways to Get to the Truth
Insulated leaders don’t ask, because they don’t want to know.
You are less than you could be, because people aren’t telling you the truth.
4 surprising reasons employees don’t speak up:
- Positive suggestions create more work. If you suggest it, you end up doing it.
- Suggestions may be interpreted as criticism or dissatisfaction.
- Speaking up may strain relationships with colleagues.
- Fear the boss will be embarrassed in front of subordinates and/or higher-ups.
16 ways to get to the truth:
If you want people to tell you the truth, be worthy of hearing the truth.
- Acknowledge that people withhold honest feedback and positive suggestions. especially to people with power.
- Build safe environments by valuing, inviting, honoring, and rewarding truth-telling.
- Create cultures where positives are more pervasive than negatives.
- Express gratitude when people speak up. The first response to all feedback is one thing, “Thank you.”
- Focus on improvement, more than mistakes.
- Explore issues and give information, but never defend yourself.
- Don’t embarrass anyone who speaks up, especially if they are misinformed. Make teammates feel like fools and you end up out of the loop.
- Focus on issues and behaviors, not people.
- Evaluate and adapt frequently.
- Keep emotions in check. Unpredictable leaders have self-protective followers.
- Speak in quiet tones when difficult issues come up.
- Never participate in gossip.
- Apologize when you’re wrong. When you fail in public, make it right in public. An apology says you’re not perfect, but you’re trustworthy.
- Take action quickly. If you aren’t sure what to do, follow up.
- Be honest with yourself. Position and authority make it easy for you to pretend you are better than others. Everyone’s on a journey, even you.
- Commit to getting better.
Leaders are the problem, when they believe trust building is something others do.
How might leaders build truth-telling environments?