How many times have you lied to your boss this month?
I’m not talking about stealing money from the company and flat-out denying it (that’s not just lying, it’s illegal …).
I mean: telling a little white lie that buys you time or keeps your boss calm while you run and fix the real problem.
Yes, every part of the project’s on track. I KNOW, there’s a first time for everything!
I read the email from Josh a few minutes ago and put some time aside this afternoon to reply to it properly.
I was in a meeting (and not having coffee with Jenny from accounts).
Little white lies are ok, as long as you’re fulfilling the responsibilities of your job, not doing anything illegal and nobody’s getting hurt.
But those little white lies become dangerous when they’re a habit, or worse, ingrained in the company culture.
Like when you’re in a project meeting and everyone around the table nods their head yes to everything the project manager says, while secretly knowing the project’s doomed to fail.
Or when the boss asks if there are any issues to raise and a lengthy silence follows.
Or continuous promises to clients that will never be met.
Have you ever worked in a company that operated like this?
Let’s flip the script and see this from a leader’s point of view:
The leader asks the team if there are any issues to raise and a silence follows.
The team’s supposedly reassured.
Only, two weeks down the line, the project the team’s been working on starts heading south … due to issues that already existed but nobody spoke about.
The inevitable signal to the leader is that there’s a fundamental lack of openness in the team, and a lack of trust in the leader.
After all, who would give someone they don’t trust bad news? If you didn’t have faith that your opinion would be respected, would you open up? When there’s a lack of belief in the team, issues are buried until they reveal themselves.
And this lack of trust and openness isn’t just an issue for the leader – it’s an issue for the entire team.
The more little white lies the team tells, the more this becomes part of the culture. New recruits pick up this behaviour, and before you know it, that’s just the way it works around here becomes are the words uttered by people who are disappointed in how accepting everyone is of deception.
How do you fix it?
How can you create an environment of openness and trust in a team – whether you’re a leader or a team member?
What can you do today to add a little more honesty into your day?
Enter: Justin Hale.
He’s our guest on the latest Masks Off podcast episode.
Trainer and keynote speaker at Vitalsmarts – Justin Hale joins us to talk all things employee satisfaction. Is happiness in the workplace really relevant to business goals, and how can leaders create an environment where teams can be open and honest?
Click here to access the episode.
Justin shares with us:
- The alarmingly high percentage of people who believe they’re working on a project that’s set up to fail
- How to close the gap between how execs perceive company culture, and how everyone else see it
- The exact script to use when being honest with your leader – and not lose your job in the process
- How to make your team feel like every opinion is heard, even when you don’t have time for it
This episode is for you if you want to create a culture of honesty and meet your business goals with employees who are on your side.
Here’s the link to the episode again.
What to do now?
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