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« Opportunity for Those Impacted by Economic Turndown | Main | Build Effective Relationships...with Everyone »

April 04, 2009


Pawel Brodzinski

Sometimes I think honesty is considered as a wrong behavior in business which is utterly wrong for me. I can hardly find a situation when telling the truth ended up wrong in the long run. Yet somehow we often get this weird looks when we decide to describe things exactly as they are, not as we'd like them to see.

Becki True

It sounds like you and I had a similar upbringing, so we were at a bit of a disadvantage as we had to overcome dysfunctional attitudes about honest conversation. We were raised to tell the truth, but not the truth about how we feel or what we think about others.

A good book about respectful honesty is The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. It's a short, easy read, but covers this topic very well.

Ron Holohan, MBA PMP

I have found that communicating bad news can still be done truthfully by focusing on providing positive re-enforcement rather than stating it in negative terms. For example, if I needed to improve someone's consistency on providing project status, rather than focusing on their inability to provide their project status on a consistent basis I try to focus on those times when they have been consistent. So, my feedback may be something like this... "Joe, when you submit your project status on Monday mornings by 9am it allows me to communicate your project's health to my management more consistently. Thank you!" When I have provided this feedback, rather than state "I expect you to provide your status to me by Monday mornings at 9am and you haven't delivered," I find that the behavior is more likely to be modified appropriately.

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