Three weeks ago, I was speaking to a group of executives in Vancouver BC.
I shared a cartoon I’ve had for some time that shows the senior executive of a leadership team calling for a vote on an issue, saying, “All those in favor, say ‘Aye.’”
The five leaders all respond with smiles and say “Aye,” but the thought clouds above each of their heads tell a different story: “I can’t believe it!” “Say it ain’t so!” “You’ve got to be kidding!” “No. No. A thousand times no!” “Heaven forbid!”
Upon seeing this cartoon, a female executive said, “You’ve just described my organization.”
An organization where trust is present does not mean absence of conflict. In fact, healthy conflict occurs only where people know it’s safe to tell the truth.
What’s it like to speak truth to power in your organization?