Honesty is a crazy thing. We all expect each other to be honest, but only to the point where the truth doesn’t hurt. Back in college I took a course in Photography. (Yes, besides being an English major, I’m also an Art minor. Please stifle the chuckling.) Each week we received an assignment, went forth and snapped photos, and spent time in the dark room developing them. (Remember film cameras?) At the end, our photos would be pinned to a large wall in class and we would begin “critique mode.”
Only it never was critiquing. It was a group of people saying things like “Well, I like it but maybe, if you thought it might work, you could…” or “It’s nice.” These were unhelpful. I would be frustrated having to listen to my classmates skirt around the truth. Where was the honesty in it? It would be nice to think that all my photos were gems, but they weren’t.
One day I was fed up and after class I took my photos, went to the professor and said, “Please give me your real opinion.” Without even pausing, he told me that the photos were dull and unimaginative. They weren’t good. And I thanked him for his honesty. I was happy. Why? Because, for the first time I got constructive criticism. I was doing things wrong, and no one else had mind enough to be honest with me. If you can’t tell me what I’m doing wrong, how will I ever learn to do it right?
When we do something wrong, we need to be told that we’ve done wrong. If we do something incorrect for our clients, we should expect them to tell us we messed up. Employer-Employee honesty is critical in having a successful relationship and getting the job done right. It doesn’t feel good when someone points out your errors. But it feels even worse when you find yourself in a bad business relationship because no one’s willing to be honest and talk.
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.