Today a coworker and I were lamenting about how many people try not to tell the truth about how things like projects or other operational items are going. They’ll all try to put a positive spin to make it sound that all well when in reality it’s all shot to shit.
This happens a lot during audits, where people try as best a possible to hide any skeletons that may exist. The most activity to occur in term of ensuring that almost every control is checked is just before the audit is carded to start.
Now maybe that’s the expectation: that the audit is not meant to catch us not doing the right things, but determine that we know what the right things are. But probably not.
I believe we should try to be as truthful and as transparent as we could be for everyone to see. It will hold us accountable, and as a plus, if anyone sees us struggling, they can provide support before it becomes a problem.
But this is hard for people. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news. So they keep the bad news as quietly as could be until it can be resolved quietly, or can no longer be kept quiet.
But these secrets come at a price. Because we don’t fess up and try to make amends, we never really learn. As a result:
- They often don’t help us improve or get better next time. They only help us get better at keeping things quiet.
- We often try not to make the same mistake, not by doing the tasks better, but by avoiding it altogether.
- If by chance the truth comes out, people will have a hard time trusting you next time around.
So do yourself a favour and tell the truth. If you need help giving bad news, this is a helpful article.