“Embracing Honesty in the Workplace” (Steven Gaffney)

Steven Gaffney: “Embracing Honesty in the Workplace”

Communications expert and author of several books on honesty, Steven Gaffney shares some of his wisdom in this energetic interview.

Here’s what Mr. Gaffney covered for us:

  1. You say the #1 problem you see in organizations is the lack of open/honest communication…
  2. It seems that one of your core messages is that it’s not about what people are saying, but what they’re not saying.
  3. People often avoid talking about the “elephant in the room.” Does it become too much of a distraction if we DON’T talk about it?
  4. This is an interesting niche and you’ve built quite a brand around honesty. How did this come to be?
  5. What about performance reviews? Should these be done in real time, rather than waiting for them as a calendar event?
  6. I’ve had execs tell me that their people – when asked if there’s anything they’d like to share (at a meeting, for example) – say nothing. This is clearly a symptom of what?
  7. We hear so much about “accountability.” How can we actually make it work?
  8. Speaking of meetings, how can we hold more effective ones that aren’t dreaded by staff?
  9. I find that most folks have a tough time apologizing and have to wonder … is it because they’re seeing guilt/blame/fault/shame when it’s really just about responsibility?
  10. When something goes sideways in a customer relationship (ball gets dropped) is it just best to come clean right away?
  11. You say honesty grows a business. Help us connect those dots.
  12. When you have an employee with a proven track record of dishonesty, what should you do?
  13. We often hear people begin with, “To be honest with you…” Is this good or bad?
  14. You say that many of us assume we’re usually right when in fact we’re more often wrong about our assumptions.
  15. You’ve got 21 rules for delivering difficult messages. Can you share a couple of those rules with us?
  16. You say that tone has 5 times more impact than the words we use…
  17.  What should we be doing to foster a culture of honesty in the workplace?
  18.  Does a lack of open/honest communication stifle innovation?

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