Truth: Use It Sparingly
I'm almost done listening to the new Jay-Z CD, 4:44. As I listen to it, I'm taken a back some by the language but the words are pure truth. He seems to go from talking to his younger self, scolding his older self, apologizing to his wife and schooling the rest of us. All along, if you are a listening learning person, open to all the universe is saying to you, the CD is a lesson on life and growing into it. It got me thinking about the workplace. Truth in the workplace.
Sitting in the team meeting discussing plausible options for the project, every thought in the room knows its not going to work but no one speaks up. Even when someone does put themselves on the record, it's still not the full truth of the matter. At first thought, you think it's to protect their career or position. Or because they don't have enough detail to justify their veto of it all. Or finally their is the premise that if you have a complaint then you should also offer a solution and the person doesn't have one. Yes, all are feasible reasons but the one that stands out the most is that most people at work can't handle the full and unfiltered truth.
Remember, when people cross the threshold into the workplace they bring all of their own issues, egos, insecurities and needs with them.That said, make sure when you are about to speak you carefully weigh the truth of what you are going to say especially if it is not in-line with the majority. You should speak up, but just be cautious of how much you speak. To say the project is going to fail should probably be there are places in the project that don't seem strong enough to support reaching the goal by that date. If asked if you think the manager knows what he's doing, I'm not the manager so my exposure to all that he is exposed to is limited. Get the picture, it's not a lie but it's no the full truth, which is your manager has no clue as to what he is doing and needs some serious help.
I'm all about truth. Even in the worst of moments, the truth is comforting to hear. In the workplace, the truth is not always welcomed. Make sure before you put the truth on the table you have weighed it against the moment and the need for the elephant in the room to even be spoken out loud since everyone sees it anyway.