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We should strive for transparency. It gets tricky when transparency causes friction because the recipient is either hearing something they don't want to hear, or is handed information that is not up to their expectation.
This is where our relationship building, trust, and influence comes into play. It's about messaging and optics. It's about sharing it out early along with a plan for remediation (if needed).
In short, honesty can cause friction, the truth can hurt, and doing the right thing is not always easy. But that is okay. We do it anyway.
I wouldn't confuse 'politically correct' with 'free speech'. Although, I do see where you are coming from (and going), there is opportunity to draw a distinction b/t the two. As individuals, when we think about things or speak to others, we have a sense that others will perceive what we are saying in the same context as we are thinking. Unfortunately, this is just not how it works, We do need to be cognizant of what we are saying, what the message to deliver is, and how best to present it based on the audience.
As we garner more respect, trust, influence, etc., we do gain some additional flexibility as others have more insight into what the presenter is saying and thinking without reading in between the lines or how they may 'hear' it.
I have found the best way to deal with people like this is to not back peddle and justify my statements to them, which is what they desire. In the example you gave with Nikki above, I would have simply replied 'Yes.' to the individual who posed the question, then continued with the meeting.
Since when are companies and organizations systematically included in the decision-making process?
Since when are people asked to plan their work (as a team) and do it according to their priorities?
How do you define this new approach to work and the way you work?
Not in my workplaces.
If there is trust and respect and honesty (and it is my responsibility to support it), open communication will prevail. Not saying it is easy, it requires (morale) courage.
I'd agree that there is a tipping point at which respect for diversity and encouragement for inclusiveness goes to the "Dark Side". The ostracism of radical thinkers and comedians at universities is one unfortunate example of this.
This is another case where we see the benefits of a long standing team. If I know who you are, I see beyond what or how you say something. On the other hand, if I have little understanding of your true intent, I am more likely to be sensitive to what you are saying or how you say it.
In Canada, we've had a very publicly visible example of this recently in sports. There are those who'd say that the person in question is bigoted and meant what he said and how he said it whereas others are willing to see beyond the words to their perception of the true intent underneath.
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