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Never punish honesty in your work colleagues

They often say that if your best friend won’t tell you who will.  In the work place the political games that go on, the mistrust, the positional jockeying, laziness and the lack of honesty are often very difficult issues to address.  It may feel easier sometimes to allow this type of culture to exist, so people turn a blind eye and it gets ignored.  You could be leading it, you could be participating in it, you could be ignoring it or you might be at the receiving end of it.  Whatever position you are in you hold some level of responsibility for this culture.  No matter where one works I am sure that you at sometime point experienced an unacceptable culture.  The most frequent form of behaviour and reaction of individuals to a bad culture is the avoidance of dealing with the issues.  Positional power can be used by individuals to continue to ensure that this form of culture is maintained.  We often reward an individual’s behaviours that support this type of culture and we punish those who stand up against it.

Why is this, it comes down to just not knowing how to manage bad behaviour or not having the skills to deal with it.  The result is, it is allowed to exist within your organisation.  To justify the situation we make up false beliefs and statements to hide or disguise the real issues.  For example  “ this is a tough business and this is how we do things around here, if you can’t get with the programme you will not survive so you better decide, are you with us or against us “ We create an environment that individuals are fearful to address it or question it.  Result can lead to poor performance, stress, lack of development, emulating behavioural styles, absentee, termination, and isolation. The workplace is not the only environment that political games, lack of trust, positional power and the lack of honesty strive. 

So what happens when someone decides to raise the envirnoment as an issue, well apart from my previous example of denial, here are some of the most common reactions/responses , not in any particular order. One can experience one or several of these reactions.

  • Delighted  that someone has spoken out and called it for what it is
  • Individuals receiving the information can get defensive
  • Shoot and discredit the messenger
  • Individuals agree with the views but are sometimes fearful to be seen to agree in public. They are delighted it is out in the open but when raised in a public form they will revert back to previous  behaviour of denial
  • You get a thank you for raising the issues and yes agreement that there might be some truth in what you say and then through behaviour no action is taken and nothing changes, it only gets worse.
  • Then there are those that take the courage – acceptance – and willingness to address the real issues and take action and provide the support where necessary to make changes

Whatever you do, change is in your hands so Never punish honesty in your work colleagues

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