“The biggest concern for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet.”  Daniel Maxwell

I read this quote recently and it really resonated with me. I have always believed that leaders benefit greatly by having truth tellers in their organization. I relied on others to tell me what they really thought about an idea or what was truly going on in our operations. It wasn’t always pleasant to hear, but not knowing about a problem made it impossible to solve. 

It is a special skill not only to be able to hear the truth, but to be able to share it in a way that is heard. Truth tellers are not always popular in organizations, or even with their direct supervisors. It is far easier to keep quiet and not risk admonition, but the organization suffers as a result. 

This reminds me of another quote: “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley

Whether you deploy an external consultant to communicate the truth or summon the bravery to do it yourself, truth telling is an invaluable organizational skill. And, in my opinion, truth listening is an essential leadership talent. 

Be intentional in creating a culture that allows honest feedback to be spoken — and heard. Ask the tough questions. Embrace less-than-flattering answers. Cherish those who speak the truth to you. Probe about candor in your interviewing. While it may not always feel like it, the truth is your best friend.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.