This topic has presented itself on more than one occasion last week so I have been reflecting on human behaviour. I have a tendency to want to know the “why” of everything so my overanalytical mind has been at play.
What has ever happened to honesty particularly when it comes to providing feedback? What stops you from being completely honest with someone?
I get it. We are Canadians and we are nice, eh? We don’t like to ruffle feathers or hurt feelings.
Honesty is not about hurting feelings but sometimes this can be the result.
Last week I sat in front of a manager and provided some honest, constructive feedback in a non-threatening and non-judgmental manner. The intention was to help this manager become a better leader. His behaviour was negatively impacting the work environment and after receiving several complaints, this information needed to be relayed to the manager.
So what happened next? The manager was angry. Angry at me for relaying this message but was the anger really directed at me personally? No, absolutely not. However, if I did not have the ability to separate myself from the situation, I would have taken this as a personal attack.
People say they want honesty but do they? We skirt around issues all the time to “save face” and then when we are honest, our egos get in the way. We don’t know how to handle it. We get defensive rather than see it as an opportunity to improve.
Too many times I have sat across from managers who have an expectation for their employees that is not being met but yet cannot provide honest and constructive feedback to the employee. The manager fails to articulate the expectation and then is annoyed when the employee continues this behaviour pattern.
What is the definition of doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results? I know it drives me insane to watch it so why do we operate that way?
Hard conversations can be challenging. No doubt but what if that feedback changed that person forever? For the better! What if that feedback developed this employee so much, their performance went from average to stellar?
What if that one piece of advice had a lasting impact? What if the person did not know they were doing something wrong?
Sometimes I am brutally honest but this is not done out of evil but for the greater good. I am always reaching for the stars to make the world a bit brighter and sometimes we need to shine a light on what is not working in order to foster all that is good. That takes a bit of courage, tenacity, boldness and sometimes, a bit of risk taking.
Every morning I go to the barn to feed the horses and cows. Every morning, I shovel some manure to make sure the animals stay clean, dry and comfortable.
Isn’t it about time we speak our truth from our authenticity? Don't others deserve to hear it so they can realize their full potential?
My authenticity comes from coaching from the barn! Want to know more? Horses are my partners and they want to meet the "real" you. You don't need to hold anything back. I invite you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start your journey.
At the heart of connection… Do you ever wonder where connection begins and ends? What does connection mean to you?
Do you instantly build connection or are you someone where you need a seed planted and over time it germinates into a beautiful relationship?
What supports those you are in connection with? Common interests, values such as trust, honesty and integrity, family, hobbies?
For me, connection starts in the purest form of authenticity. I immediately get a spidey sense when people are not being truly authentic and I can feel a guard go up questioning a person’s intention or mandate. Inherently, I believe everyone has good qualities that could be hidden or need to be uncovered but lack of authenticity is a trigger for me. Maybe I think too much but I always question “why”.
With my horses and dogs, I never question that authenticity and it makes me appreciate them so much more. They hold me accountable to be honest with myself. They expect and push me to show up just as I am and face whatever emotion head on. The bonus is they don’t care if my hair is messy, or that I have holes in my pants, or that I don’t have a name brand whatever. The love is unconditional and I have the pleasure of reciprocating this unconditional love. This translates over to my human connections. Who am I to judge?
When my dog greets me with a wagging tail or I hear a whinny from one of my horses as I enter the barn, a smile is instantly planted on my face.
Animals don’t lie. They are always teaching us to go inward to explore and expand our awareness.
It is the awareness of connection that is so key in this relationship – connection of self and connection with them.
In a world of social media and technology, we think we are more connected, but are we? Or are we more disconnected than ever? On Social Media, you only see what the author wants you to see which could be the absolute perfect life. But is that what is really taking place all the time? Is that life really that perfect? I would beg to differ.
My life is not perfect so if you check my social media, you will see common themes – my children, my dogs, my horses and some other random stuff I decide to post. You will often see posts of how proud I am of all of them but is it always perfect? Trust me, my children inform me when its not.
So how do you know if you are connected with self? What supports you in that connection?
This is the premise of my coaching practice particularly with the horses. They don’t lie and are great supporters of bringing forward some of those hidden demons and I support you to face them head on. When those demons get out of the way, we can face the world in our true authenticity.
Let me help you and contact with me at Soul on Fire Professional and Personal Coaching. How about we get started today? Why put it off until tomorrow? (BTW, they say tomorrow never comes).
If you were to rate your organization on respect in the workplace, where would you excel and where are there gaps? Do you have a set of organizational values that have been communicated and are living and breathing within your workplace? Or are there values that are printed on a piece of paper or the company intranet but employees are not aware and they are not adhered to?
How about policies? Do you have established policies where everyone is treated fairly and equitably according to these standardized policies?
Managers, would you know what to do if an employee communicated to you that he/she is being harassed? Do you understand what harassment means and what falls within this definition? Do you have a protocol to follow for a harassment investigation? Are you aware that you could be held personally liable if this allegation is not taken seriously and you fail to follow through? And your organization could be held liable too?
Employees, are you aware of your rights when it comes to workplace respect, harassment, bullying? Do you know that gossiping falls under the umbrella of harassment?
If you are saying "no" to any of the questions mentioned above, perhaps it is time to introduce in-house training for both employees and managers?
Just click on the "contact me" button and we can set this up at a time that is convenient for your organization and Soul on Fire can help you implement the policies that will support this training. Isn't it time to safeguard your company from any potential litigation. I am here to help.
I am an experienced business woman, a certified leadership and life coach (Co-Active Coach Training Institute recognized by the International Coaching Federation), an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources, a horse owner for 25+ years and have studied Equine Assisted/Facilitated programs such as the Horse Medicine Leadership Academy, Natural Lifemanship and EAGALA.