Another Look at Integrity, and a Plea

I was having an email conversation over the weekend with an ex-colleague. The conversation did not go well and I actually left it somewhat discouraged and even more determined than I was before to put some level of integrity back into the daily lives of everyone I come in contact with.

Q: What do you do when someone gives you “facts” that aren’t?

A: Dispute those “facts” with the evidence to the contrary.

Why? Well, there are several reasons to do this. One is to simply protect yourself from inaccurate facts that can come back to bite you in the future. Two is to let that person know that you are not as dumb as they apparently think you are. Three, that person needs to know that inaccurate facts and outright lies cannot and will not be tolerated.

I ask you another question……who are you in this conversation? Are you the person who is having to defend yourself from inaccurate information? Or, are you the one who is bending facts to support your argument? I hope you are not the one ignoring the truth.

The truth is a magnificent thing; it is always the truth. It does not care if you have a different point of view. It does not care if you have a different agenda. It does not care if you have a fuzzy recollection. In fact, it does not care if you were given inaccurate information which you are now repeating. The truth is always the truth.

Being truthful is a huge part of having integrity. It is actually the largest part. If you wish to be a leader, you must start by having integrity. The first step of that is to start being truthful……ALWAYS!

So, I ask you again…….which side of the coin are you on? Are you heads above the rest or simply telling tales?

I plead with you to start your journey on the path of integrity.

The truth will always be the truth, regardless if you want it to be something else. Telling tales will do nothing but damage your reputation and prolong the inevitable. I also plead with you to call out those who start and spread lies and inaccuracies.

What do you do when someone tries to bend the facts? Please comment below.

Heated Conversations: Do you Engage?

How do you, as a leader handle heated conversations in your team? Are YOU engaging?

Differing opinions are a part of our daily lives. In fact, in leadership roles, they are essential to the survival of the teams we are tasked with leading. By this, I mean that utilizing different opinions or even different world views will allow us to avoid the damaging and often destructive results of groupthink. While we might think that life is great if everyone agrees with us, it all too often means that something is about to go horribly wrong.

The problem is that differing opinions can sometimes create tense moments during a meeting or even just during an otherwise calm part of the day. Let’s face it, there are many people out there passionate about their work and about their opinions. It is our job, as leaders, to keep that passion somewhat controlled and pointed in a positive direction. If the argument gets heated, or worse, the meeting, whether formal or informal, it needs to stop right then with encouraging words that all disputes can and will be resolved amicably. It is critical that all of our team members feel safe coming to work (emotionally or physically).

In the end, it is important for teams to have differing opinions but in a controlled environment. The biggest thing I can leave you with as a leader is to not engage in such heated discussions. If you get into a strong disagreement with a team member, you either need to take it to another, closed-door room or just table the discussion for another time when you both have had a chance to calm down and reset your passions. Keep in mind that it is possible that you DON’T have the best idea, be sure to set your ego aside too.

Different opinions are essential to business. Without them, we would all wear white shirts with blue pants, regardless of gender, age, race, or nationality. All cars would be white 4-door sedans with gray interior and all houses would be white with blue trim. We don’t live in any such society, not even the ones with the harshest of homeowner restrictions. That doesn’t mean we have to box our neighbor’s ears when we want to paint our house a different color.

The most important single ingredient in the forula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” ~T. Roosevelt

What tricks have you used to stop heated debates at the office? Comment below.