Telling the truth at work demonstrates a commitment to integrity that is valued by employers, co-workers and customers. Though people may not always react well to individual expressions of honesty, they do respect honesty and remember it in the future. If you’re ever in a situation where you can’t prove what you are saying is true, people will often give you the benefit of the doubt if you have demonstrated a commitment to honesty in the past.
For example, if someone tries to blame a mistake on you, your explanation of events will be believable if you have a reputation for always telling the truth and the other person does not. Improving Efficiency Failing to tell the truth in the workplace can be an efficiency killer. As an example, imagine your company president has decided to rebrand a product. For fear of reprisals, or simply from not wanting to disappoint the boss, everyone agrees that it’s a great idea rather than expressing their true opinion about it. The president tasks the marketing department to start working on it and hires a consultant to start a focus group.
Only after tens of thousands of dollars have been spent does the president learn the truth: It was a terrible idea. The idea is scrapped. Former General Electric CEO put it this way: “Forget outside competition when your own worst enemy is the way you communicate with one another internally. ” Related Reading: Careers in Lie Detection Building Relationships Telling the truth is an important part of a trusting relationship, in or out of the workplace.
Of course, honesty needs to be combined with other qualities such as patience, compassion and an open mind to differences in opinion. However, once you have established a foundation of honesty between you and your coworkers, an office begins to operate as a unified team rather than a collection of individual entities who will keep information to themselves. Not only does this make the organization more efficient, with all the oars pulling in the same direction, it generally makes going in to work more enjoyable.
Encouraging Honesty in Others While many leaders seem to do their best to prove the contrary, honesty is an important quality
for genuine leadership. If you want others to tell you the truth, it’s important to lead by example by telling the truth yourself. You don’t have to be the company president to encourage truth-telling in your workplace. Many people fail to tell the truth and prefer to keep their mouths shut only because they fear standing out. However, telling the truth can be a liberating experience. Setting an example yourself is often all these people need to begin doing the same.