November 5, 2020, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT | November 6, 2020 – February 7, 2021, On-Demand | Online Conference
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Oh my If I did not know any better I would have sworn that you worked at a previous company with me ;)
If there is one thing that I refuse to budge on it is integrity and integrity is maintained by being open, honest and behaving ethically. The previous company I'm referring to has a management structure that believed that the bad news must be kept away from the customer at all cost. Lying is seen as a great team player trait, taking one for the team. What you are doing when you lie or obscure the truth is protecting your company where your loyalties must be vested.
Personally, I had too many altercations with top management regarding this because I feel that relationships are more worth than the immediate dollar. A good relationship builds on trust has the potential to bring in more money than that one lie does. So no compromise, be open and honest.
BTW I also do not believe in creating panic by sharing bad news without having all the information first and also putting some alternative on the table.
Two considerations here: Firstly, we have to consider cultural norms which may be different from our own and do not judge situations or people by our standards (ethnocentrism). Secondly, in some parts of the world, the implications of falling out with the 'boss' are so severe to the life of the employee and his/her family, that taking the high road is not realistic most of the time. An environment where one can be fully transparent and open is an exception, unfortunately, not the rule.
Every professionally managed organization must allow "transparent communication from project team" for project success. This is of utmost importance, especially when project is facing headwind.
Recognise the level of transparency the organization practises and work out a common understanding of transparency with the team, upper management, as well as customers
Employ a responsibility assignment matrix and encourage each employee to take ownership assigned set of tasks. Team members will be aware of what everyone else is working on and who they need to ask for guidance, deliverables, and sign-off.
Encourage team members to share ideas and plans. Let members see what worked and what did not. Leaders who speak openly about the state of the project / work gain trust. While it can be difficult to reveal you had a bad result, keeping team members, upper management, and customers in the know maintains confidence in the internal environment and customers. If information is deemed detrimental, exercise judgement on how much of the information can be conveyed and the manner of the communication.
I completely understand you comment about falling out with the boss, but there are many ways to respectfully disagree with the boss.
Taking the high road is not wrong--- it is the civil thing to do... but difficult at times. Do we have the moral fortitude to do the right thing?
However, if an organization does not have a transparent culture, steps can be taken to transform that culture..... It is a slow, difficult process, but it can be done.
Finally, your point about exercising judgment about how much of the information can be conveyed... This is SPOT ON! Not everyone needs to have ALL the information. What is appropriate for the situation. Some may see transparency as all or nothing... but I am not one of them. What are the pros of giving the information? What are the cons? I don't see a problem with selectively transmitting information... as long as the underlying message is one of transparency. There is a difference between keeping some information private and outright lies.
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