I know we are told that honesty is the best policy but is that really the case? I had a recent experience whereby I provided honest feedback to someone who did not receive it at all well. I spent hours painstakingly drafting and redrafting what I had to say and after several iterations shared my feedback. I also shared some honest feedback on myself on how I could have handled things differently next time adding a certain level of vulnerability to the equation. I was not the only one to have similar feedback and although others had shared their thoughts with me, some chose not to share it openly and honestly with the person in question. Somehow my sharing this feedback was turned around on me and the person was totally unreceptive, assigning blame rather than listening and trying to embrace my honest input.
I understand that providing and giving feedback can be challenging. This experience certainly re-enforced that notion. It would definitely be easier next time to take the easy option and not provide honest and direct feedback, however, by doing so it does not allow people to improve or present the opportunity to develop relationships or indeed to move forward.
After much self-reflection, I concluded that honesty is not the easy option. It is challenging and unsettling, however, I still believe it is the best policy. If in doubt, it is important to remember that the truth is never the wrong option even if it is not what somebody wants to hear.
No legacy is so rich as honesty – William Shakespeare.
This is a guest post from Vicki Chabot of netlogx.