Honesty is the Cornerstone to GREAT LEADERSHIP! As a leader, if you are not honest with your employees, you cannot be an effective leader. There’s no two ways about it. Let me give you an example.
When an employee makes a mistake, do you go over to them, pat them on the back and try to make them feel better? Hoping that the problem will just go away or not repeat itself? If so, you are not being honest with yourself or the situation. By not dealing with the problem in the immediate, you are opening yourself up to further problems (sometimes bigger problems) down the road. You have to address the issue at hand, and look at it as a teachable moment. Yes, a teachable moment.
Many managers and leaders can find it both difficult and uncomfortable addressing their employees’ mistakes. After all, who wants to make someone feel bad or potentially ruin their day? However, if you think of mistakes as teachable moments, an opportunity to elevate someone to new heights, than the concerns of “hurting” an employee’s feelings subside.
Will there still be folks upset even after your good intentions? Of course! But I say, too bad. Why? Because of the consequences if you don’t. By not addressing employee mistakes in the immediate, you are opening yourself up to further issues that could be much harder to quickly fix. Not to mention, failing to act will affect employee performance and productivity. Which ultimately leads to a weaker bottom line.
You must be honest when facing difficult situations, otherwise you are doing a disservice not only to that employee, but to yourself, your team, your boss and your company. When you think about it, do the concerns of potentially hurting an employee’s feelings (essentially wounding their pride) outweigh the potential headaches and ramifications of inaction? I don’t think so.
Self-esteem and confidence are earned through hard work and adversity. The only way to grow is by learning from your mistakes, pushing through fear and bouncing back from failure. An employee will not learn those important skills by being coddled. So the next time an employee makes a mistake or gets out of line, get over your concerns about hurting their feelings. Handle the situation in the immediate. Don’t wait and let it fester. Think of it as an opportunity to teach. Just make sure your criticism is solution based, fair and constructive.
I guarantee they will be grateful for your honesty.
Always Be Leading!
Bernie Pigott is a professional speaker and consultant in the areas of leadership, management and media communications. Mr. Pigott is a C-Suite Network Advisor and contributing editor for the C-Suite Network. He is a former Senior Manager and Producer with over 20 years of experience in the news industry working for FOX News Channel, FOX News Radio and CNBC. For a FREE consultation on how Mr. Pigott can help you and your organization maximize performance, productivity and profits… Contact us at BerniePigott.com.