When I first started working, I was always confronted to difficult situations, to toxic managers lying and scapegoating people to protect their position.
To protect myself, I learn to discipline myself, to speak the truth and to walk in my own truth at all times.
If a process didn’t work, it just didn’t work.
If I did a good job, then I did a good job.
If I performed poorly, then I performed poorly.
I told the truth during annual performance reviews to my team and to my higher-ups.
Was it difficult? Yes.
Was it worth it? Yes.
Wondering how and why leaders must deliver the truth?
Part of being a leader is being able to handle a lie and tell the truth.
This is a job that most people cannot do.
It requires a strong sense of ethics, justice, vulnerability, transparency, fearlessness and determination.
7 Reasons Leaders Must Tell The Truth
The truth is ugly. The truth is painful. The truth is humiliating.
The truth isn’t easy to say but it will strengthen your character.
#1. The truth is powerful
If you walk in your truth, nobody will be able to use it against you or to define who you are.
You will gain control of your life, give up control over people, give up false expectations and take responsibility for your action.
#2. The truth promotes change
Telling the truth is similar to confrontation in the sense that it challenges the status quo.
It helps you face your assumptions and stereotypes about people.
#3. The truth is freeing
Knowing your truth will help you improve your lifestyle.
It gives you peace of mind and helps you accept reality. You don’t have to worry about what people think about you.
You don’t worry about being questioned because you walk with integrity.
#4. The truth increases your respect and credibility
Leaders have to speak the truth even when it hurts them directly.
Speaking the truth increases credibility and creates trust in relationships.
Leaders who tell the truth increase their influence, breed trust and are seen as reliable.
#5. The truth builds strong and deep relationships
Telling the truth creates a culture of candor.
In addition, telling the truth helps others grow and better themselves.
Not telling the truth would be doing people a disservice.
Furthermore, being candid will help build strong and safe workplaces.
#6. The truth forces you to confront reality
Seeking truth will help you understand your core values, your failures and your successes.
Telling the truth as a leader means being vulnerable and authentic.
As a result, you will be able to confront others, yourself and your ideas.
You will get more comfortable with yourself.
You will also be able to easily face your blind spots, acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses.
#7. The truth brings resolve
The truth helps leaders make effective decisions.
When leaders face hard realities, they have to acknowledge it and act quickly.
How To Deliver The Truth?
Just like advice, the truth must be solicited.
- Confront your own truth first. Like the old proverb says: remove the wax from your eyes before you remove the wax from someone else’s eye.
- Be transparent. Share your successes and struggles.
- Prepare yourself mentally for the conversation to come. Telling the truth doesn’t require as much energy as lying, is immutable and sustainable. However, you never know how the other person is going to react. Therefore, you have to brace yourself.
- Gather what you have to say in private. Write it down of necessary.
- Hone your communication style. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
- Clarify your intentions and visualize the outcome of the conversation.
- Discern who can handle the truth or not. Whenever in doubt, it is best to ask if they can. Then, take that person in private.
- Show compassion and be humble.
- Be empathetic and understand that the topic may be sensitive for others.
- Monitor your voice tone and your attitude. Your truth cannot be aggressive or finger-pointing.
- Look people in their eyes when you speak.
- People avoid the truth because they fear repercussions. Encourage and thank people for the truth. This way, you will get more of it and will create a culture of candor.
- Stick to facts and to “I feel like” statements.
- Explain boundaries and limit your truth-telling.
- If you don’t want to discuss a topic, be clear on why.
Last Words Of Advice!
Some leaders are tempted to lie because they don’t want to appear weak or less that they actually are. To avoid lying:
- Remember that sticking to the truth is not a weakness.
- Understand that everyone holds their truth and that there are several sides to every story.
- Don’t make promises you know that you cannot keep.
- Don’t use the truth to put down someone else or to crush someone spirit.
- Take responsibility for your actions and stop shifting blame.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.