End the Fireworks: How to Develop Truth-Tellers Around You (Part 2)

In our last blog we addressed the oversized elephant that crushes progress in too many offices: People don’t tell the “truth” because they fear the consequences. For many teams, when the truth is told, judgment is cast or emotions erupt – fireworks explode – and people run for cover. So, the truth is avoided, which leaves teams struggling to balance themselves as they operate on a faux platform of incomplete and inaccurate information.

Would you like a bullet-proof, sure-fire, guaranteed way to ensure people lie to you? Do this:

  • Whenever someone tells you something, judge the information as good or bad;
  • Or shake your head and tell them they’re wrong;
  • Or laugh at them and let them know how stupid they are.

And if you want to ensure your children lie to you, after they tell you something, ask interrogation questions, such as “Why did you do that?” and “What were you thinking?”

Those leaders who develop truth tellers around them welcome all information. And they know that how they respond to the information determines what type of information they’ll receive in the future. Treating the information as neutral (it is only information, and your judgment is the only thing that makes it good or bad) allows people and teams to move an issue forward faster, because no one has to navigate your issues.

Try this experiment: Withhold value judgments on the information you receive. In response to what you are told, simply acknowledge you heard it – “thank you” – and then ask a question that launches the process of moving the situation forward. As you do this, observe what happens to the depth and detail of conversations as people realize that they’re not playing with fire when they approach you.

Be prepared: If you attempt this experiment be prepared for this: higher quality decision making is on the horizon as full information will increase.

In our next blog we’ll cover strategies to assist those who want to tell the truth to others – and live to tell about it!

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?

Activate Your Greatness.

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