Coaching Tips on Effectiveness

Or how to focus on what matters to YOU.

Truth, Trust and lack of time

with one comment

A manager I work for used to tell his team several times “Do what you want, mess up as much as you can, you will never break my trust like when you’re hiding things from me.”

How hard is it to tell the truth…all the time? Do you, always, tell the truth?

I have a compulsion for telling the truth (not quite like Jim Carrey here, but close enough). “Have I lost weight? ” “Not really, you could work harder on that.”

Thinking about it, however, there’s some goods and bads about the truth.

One of the bads is the paradox of telling too much of it. There’s one thing to tell the truth as it looks to you (“But that tie does absolutely not go with your shirt!!”) – which is an OPINION – and another to be truthful to yourself and admit what you wanted to say (“I want you to wear this other tie because I think it would look better.” – and to let the decision stay with the other person). We tend to convince ourselves much too often that we’re well intended, that we know what’s best for the other person, when in fact, what we think is the TRUTH is actually JUST HOW WE SEE IT.

By telling the truth in a constructive way, objectively, we build trust with the other person. And once you start building trust, you make a huge saving of time. Think of the last time you’ve skipped an agreement meeting with your supplier on an important contract, because you just know they will respect their part of the deal. Or, on the other hand, think of the time invested in drawing up complicated contracts with endless arguments. Hell, we’ve even got prenuptial contracts between the two people who are supposed to trust each other more than anyone else !

Think you have a solid bank account of trust?

Stephen Covey’s book “The Speed of Trust” comes with a free checkout of your trust fund with others – you can find it here:

Now, how to build that bank account?

1. Listen. Without hidden agendas, without thinking you might know better.

2. Keep your word. Even when it is difficult. And when you can’t, let the other person know, upfront. One lost occasion can damage your whole trust fund.

3. Be accountable for what you do. Take responsibility when you make mistakes. People will back you up more when you admit a defeat, rather when you insist on being right.

And finally, doubt, always doubt that what you consider to be the truth is the same for everyone else. There are very few absolute truths. The vast majority are just our perspective, sometimes shared with many others, sometimes single-minded.


Written by effectivenesscoach

August 16, 2009 at 8:09 am

Posted in Growing, Work Effectiveness

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. Mer, these are absolutely article material (WOW)! … I love how informative and how beautifully each one of them is written.. POWER TO YOU!


    August 20, 2009 at 7:49 pm

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