Is honesty the best policy at work?
As leaders in organizations, is it better to wear your heart on your sleeve or to have an enigma about you? Are openness and honesty necessary in the work place? Do they help build a positive work culture or are they merely seen as good-to-haves? It’s hard to argue against honesty at work. Unfortunately however, we may sometimes give the wrong message with our words or actions. Take note of the following trip-ups that may be affecting how honest you appear to your colleagues :
1) When you start a sentence with “in my honest opinion…” does it mean that at other times you are not honest? Make that sentence taboo if you want to be seen as an honest person.
2) Think about how you can design the environment so that honesty becomes the norm and culture. For example, are you saying the same thing to everyone? Do you talk about others behind their back? Do you encourage open questions and feedback at meetings or during conversations?
3) As a leader, one way to assess if you are equally open and honest with everyone is to check if most people are able to articulate your vision somewhat accurately. Do most people feel that they “know you” and your “philosophy” about the company? Are they energized by your vision?
Honesty is a major factor in a leader’s credibility and ability to build trust. So keep an eye on it and ensure to align it to your core values.