Everyone says they value honesty but when it comes to the crunch, they really don’t. And that doesn’t mean honesty in the ethical sense (as in not lying), of course everyone values that.
This kind of honest is the transparency in voicing and listening to other people’s opinions. Especially those lower on the org chart.
Honesty is saying what you really think, respectfully and constructively. It’s backing yourself but being open to changing your mind based on the persons reply.
In this system of radical honesty, it’s dishonest if you don’t listen OR you don’t voice your opinion.
So how do you promote honest discussions in your workplace in a safe and positive way?
A great method for this was developed by Netflix and is called the ‘Radical Honesty’ policy, best explained by ex HR exec Patty McCord in her book Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility.
Radical Honesty promotes good behaviours and continuous incremental improvement. It’s setting a culture of success and learning where ideas are only right until they are proven not to be. That is how innovation and improvement occur.
But it has to be done correctly, not just dictated as a new policy. Radical Honesty has a process on how and in what environment feedback should be delivered. This removes the risk of feedback taken or delivered in a non-constructive way.
So leave the ego at the door, implement radical honesty and watch your business flourish.