Are your people as forthcoming with bad news and negative feedback as they are with good news and positive feedback?

The higher up you get in an organization, the more insulated you are from the truth. The phrase “make it safe to tell the truth” is talking about you, the leader, owning the responsibility to make it safe for others to be truthful. To help make it safe for others to be truthful in your presence:

 

– Genuinely ask for specific examples.
– Encourage them to give feedback.
– Do not defend or refute.
– Show sincerity in wanting to know their truth. (We say “their” because not everyone’s version is accurate, complete, or helpful.)
– Build their confidence that there is zero downside to speaking up (no retribution, punishment, or risk).