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.


People in power, have forgotten how much courage it takes to speak truth to power

4 surprising reasons employees don’t speak up:

  1. Positive suggestions create more work. If you suggest it, you end up doing it.
  2. Suggestions may be interpreted as criticism or dissatisfaction.
  3. Speaking up may strain relationships with colleagues.
  4. 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.

  1. Acknowledge that people withhold honest feedback and positive suggestions. especially to people with power.
  2. Build safe environments by valuing, inviting, honoring, and rewarding truth-telling.
  3. Create cultures where positives are more pervasive than negatives.
  4. Express gratitude when people speak up. The first response to all feedback is one thing, “Thank you.”
  5. Focus on improvement, more than mistakes.
  6. Explore issues and give information, but never defend yourself.
  7. 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.
  8. Focus on issues and behaviors, not people.
  9. Evaluate and adapt frequently.
  10. Keep emotions in check. Unpredictable leaders have self-protective followers.
  11. Speak in quiet tones when difficult issues come up.
  12. Never participate in gossip.
  13. 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.
  14. Take action quickly. If you aren’t sure what to do, follow up.
  15. 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.
  16. Commit to getting better.

Leaders are the problem, when they believe trust building is something others do.

How might leaders build truth-telling environments?