“No problem.” Huge problem.
“Sure. I’ll get right on that.” Not if I can find any way to avoid it, delegate it, or get away with not doing it at all.
“Oh no, I thought you sounded fine in the meeting.” Fine if you compare it to the awkward American Idol audition interview I saw last night on TV.
“You just had a rough month. I’m sure you’ll turn it around.” But probably not before you’re fired for underperforming.
I’m sure you get the drift of what’s on my mind today. It’s about the gap between what we say, and what we really think and know.
It’s about trust and being authentic. It’s about being the type of person who isn’t afraid to be truly direct and honest about a situation. (All while not getting branded as a non-team player, but that’s another topic!)
I know I’m not alone in this either. In fact, this month’s issue of Harvard Business Review has a special spotlight on trust in the workplace. Did you know that according to a survey of their readers, a huge 76% of the 1000 respondents said they trusted US and non-US companies less now than they did last year?
It makes me think about all the little things we do to build a culture of trust, and all the little things we’ve done to knock away at authenticity and directness in the workplace and even in our lives.
More and more, I wonder if it’s the little things that can slowly erode one’s trust in their colleagues and/or workplace. While the big things have big impact on trust – we need only think to Enron for this example – I think the little things set the stage. The daily interactions of when straight talk isn’t used and empty words rule the day.
This week, my goal is to say what I mean, and mean what I say. Even on the little things. Because following through and sticking by what you say when the stakes are low or high is part of what makes up who we are and whether or not we’re authentic people of our word.
Are you helping or hurting a culture of authenticity at work?
by Channon C.