When was the last time you caught someone in a lie? How did you react?
It was probably not that long ago, maybe even today. People lie to each other everyday. Some of those lies we let pass, but some startle us so much in their boldness, in their malice, in their deviousness that we are emotionally moved to do something about it. What should we do?
We could react with anger. That is sure to stir up more anger.
We could react with sadness. Surely, we have every reason to be sad, but what will that accomplish?
A better reaction? Call to question the statement in question. Here are some things that work for me:
"I'm not sure that I understood what you just said, could you say it another way?" or
"I'm not sure I agree with that. Can you convince me?" or
"Wow." (the word I sometimes say when I can't think of what to say -- OR I'm thinking of a word that would not be socially acceptable or polite. And yes, even when you catch a lie in action yo…
Do you know someone who will say anything? Some people have no filters, as one of my friends used to say. No sooner do they think it and then they say it. Sometimes, it doesn't even seem like they gave it much thought.
We all have important things to say. As leaders, what we say has direct results on how our teams perform. We can talk with an edge if the relationship is strong enough to support a high level of assertiveness, and we can say nearly anything IF (and it's a BIG if) we include respect and kindness.
When we can talk about it with respect and kindness we can talk about anything.
This is a picture of my good friend Tubs. He has a look of anticipation and expectation in his eyes. He wants to be sure that whoever he is communicating with understands those expectations. If his tongue is showing, he expects a treat. If there's a toy in his mouth, he expects to play. And if he walks toward the door, he expects to go out.
Life is simple and good when your expectations are clear.
As a leader, you probably have some expectations, too. You expect a certain level of performance from each of your team members. You expect a certain professional conduct. You expect respect.
Does everyone on your team understand, clearly, your expectations? Not last year's expectations, and maybe even not last month's expectations, but rather your current expectations? And, not only what you expect but to what level of urgency do you expect prompt action?
Let them know. Tell them again. They do need to be reminded. There's no room for a mystery here, is there?