In the training video for Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni describes a scenario he has encountered.

In one instance, when someone encounters another on the street, he says: “Good morning,” but in his head, like in a cartoon bubble above him, the thought really is “go away.”

In another situation, when someone encounters another on the street, he says “Go away” but really means “good morning.”

It’s a stereotypical exaggeration, but Lencioni utilizes it to make his point that oftentimes people say one thing and mean or think another.  Culture influences what is acceptable to say or share, but we edit or filter thoughts on our own.

The incongruence of what is said and what is unsaid often leads to issues of distrust.  If you say you like something, I take you at your word.  It’s hard to do again after I learn that in a different setting you disliked it, but just did not want to tell me.

The point of Lencioni’s illustration is that more times than not, what comes out of our mouths and what is in the bubble above us should be the same message.  

Consistency is the sound of integrity.

— beth triplett

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