How to Reach a State of Honesty in an Organization

When delivered with sincerity two of the most difficult sentences to speak are probably “I apologize” and “apology accepted” or another reasonable proxy of the pair. The first has one admitting to fault, where the second releases it. If only our lives were like the sitcoms where no matter the trouble husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, parents and their children, or co-workers get all the loose ends tied up in a matter of sixty minutes or less. Everyone hugs and the camera fades out.

Unfortunately admitting to and forgiving fault isn’t something most of us are good at. But when this exchange doesn’t occur that can create a toxic cycle inside an organization. But, how does an organization reach a state of honesty?

Pride must be put aside. The issue is that humans are savagely self-protective, it’s an evolutionary reaction to a threatening world. No longer is the danger an apex predator, but our image among our peers. None the less, we fight for it tooth and nail. So, breaking through pride is to against our instinct. It will be difficult. Second, one needs to not take things personally. Everyone makes mistakes. And most mistakes are hardly so terrible as to warrant defining a person.

We have to unburden ourselves of these very human experiences. Helping our peers and mentees realize that everyone needs to go through this process for the greater good is an essential activity for any leader.