Have you been in a situation where you felt you could not handle the truth? Or where you said to yourself this is not what I want to hear but I know it is the truth. Did you listen, hear and act on the truth you heard. Or did you defend and avoid it?
I have been in this place. At times I listened to what I wanted to hear and not listen to what I needed to hear. Rather than listening to the truth I avoided or defended my view. On other occasions I listened to the truth and accepted it.
Clearly, accepting the listening and accepting is much more difficult. It is upsetting. It is in fact extremely hard. Defensiveness and avoidance are easier. But are they really easier in the long run?
Listening to what you need to hear can often be painful but necessary. As a leader surrounding yourself with people who always tell you what you want to hear is not recommended. Those individuals may in fact be disingenuous. There may be a hidden motive behind why they are acting that way which may not always be of a benefit to you as a leader.
You want to be a leader who needs to hear what may be difficult. You should have at least one trusted individual who has no difficulty in sharing openly and honestly. That person is probably the most important person you can have as a member of your team.
They can hold you accountable and their candour, even though it may hurt, is essential if you wish to know and understand the reality of how you are leading and how people view your leadership.
This person can provide a realistic lens not one based on what people think you may want to hear. Having someone share honestly sharpens your focus. Their straightforward and truthful sharing will allow you to not only assess what your hearing, it will help you to determine your responses to issues and to situations.
Ultimately, their voice will help you make decisions based on authentic, genuine and reliable information. Their motive is not for self-promotion but instead comes from a place of caring and faithful support. And it also will benefit your team.
Their trustworthy voice is one that you will need as a leader. And this voice is one that knows that you will be able to handle the truth.
Photo credit of Jack Nicholson: IMDb
This post is this weeks contribution to the fiveminutefriday.com writing challenge.