Realism and truth telling are at the heart of authentic engagement. However, many organizations lack this realism. By not embracing honesty and truth, we are running many risks in our organizations. As truth telling declines, cost, bureaucracy, redundancies, and lack of confidence in the future all rise. People become afraid of change, and we lose the best we may otherwise have been able to get from them.
We have to remember that people actually work here… our business wouldn’t exist without them. They think and feel and are emotional beings. Across the board, there are eight typical fears that plague people. They range from being afraid of being indicted for past performance to being afraid of offending a colleague to fear of what will happen if they say what’s really on their mind – and lots of things in between.
There are some key things leaders can do to end the truthlessness epidemic, including.
- Create safe havens for change
- Set behavioral ground rules
- Make it ok to be vulnerable
- Find ways to safely have critical, sometimes painful, discussions
What are you doing to deal with employees’ fears in your organization?
Jim Haudan, CEO of Root, explores fear in his Watercooler Article, “Invasion of Fears.”