Ask your five-year-old what she thinks of your new haircut, and she won’t hesitate to tell you it looks funny. But your fifth-grader? He’s more likely to tell his best friend about his dad’s dorky new ‘do than be honest with you.
Unfortunately, being “polite” rather than candid isn’t just a grade school phase. In my experience as a consultant, a lack of candor is as common in the conference room as it is in the classroom.
I’m not alone. In Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor, Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, James O’Toole, and Patricia Ward Biederman explore the bottom-line consequences for businesses when employees don’t disclose important information to managers.
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