We will talk about this issue of Radical Truth, Radical Transparency (RTRT) over the years. This idea is not new. I first heard about RTRT through Ray Dalio in his groundbreaking book, Principles (I highly recommend you place this book on your Christmas wish list.) Other authors and thought leaders refer to the idea of “radical candor.”
What you are thinking is communicated fully. No holding back. No worrying about feelings. No worrying about offending others (not that the goal is offending others). No worrying about being offended. The desired outcome is always improvement and reaching the highest potential in terms of personal, team or organizational development.
Sounds good, right?
Then what holds so many people back?
Compassion. At the very least, perceived compassion.
We don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings and we definitely don’t want to be hurt ourselves.
So, we hold back what we are really thinking about others and their work and we certainly hold back on asking others what they are thinking about us or our work.
And we remain mediocre.
Yet, let me ask you, if you know something – or someone – is jacked up and choose to remain quiet, is this really compassion?
Think of your children, if you have any, or someone you care deeply about. When you truly love them, you want what is best for them. Yet, like you, the people you love have blind spots. If you want the highest good for them, you will stand in the gap in those blind spots. I think of driving my car on the crazy Southern California freeways where I live. There have been times when I have been in a rush when I have moved to change lanes without looking. If I am not careful, I move right into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Luckily in those times, someone else in my car will scream, “Watch out! Stop rushing and be more careful next time, you idiot!” (I am paraphrasing my ex-wife here.)
Those words are not easy to hear, but each time they have saved my life. And hers, too! In that moment, the most loving thing she could do is curse my name and scream to the top of her lungs.
Imagine if she saw me merging into the path of an oncoming car and just remained silent. How loving is that?
I know this word “love” is not necessarily conducive – or appropriate – to the workplace. However, a healthy culture (or team) is one where everyone seeks the highest good for the organization and for each other. This ideal requires sometimes screaming to one of your co-workers, “Watch out! Stop rushing and be more careful next time, you idiot!”
Woman up. Man up. In today’s terms, “Glow up.”
The only way to reach maximum effectiveness and impact is through Radical Truth and Radical Transparency.
More on this topic next week.