Raising tough issues with your boss without creating a political mess

How can speaking truth to power help your career? That is the question that this article for SHRM seeks to answer. According to this article, there are four key benefits to speaking truth to power: gaining influence, developing relationships, increasing your credibility and gaining knowledge.

First step is to understand what truth-telling is and what it is not. Truth-telling is about candour and speaking up when something isn’t right. It’s about being honest with yourself and others, even when it’s uncomfortable. It’s also about holding yourself and others accountable.

Truth-telling is not about being a bully, being negative, or stirring up trouble. It’s also not about speaking out of turn or going against the company’s policies.

So how can managers start speaking truth to power in their own workplaces? Shakiba offers five tips:

1) Start with yourself: Be honest with yourself, and admit when you’re wrong. Be willing to change your mind and be open to new information.

2) Speak up: When you see something that isn’t right, speak up. Don’t stay silent just because it’s uncomfortable or you’re afraid of repercussions.

3) Build relationships of trust: Establish trust with your team by being honest and transparent yourself. Share information openly, listen attentively, and be respectful.

4) Set the example: Lead by example, and show your team that you value accountability and honesty. Model the behaviour you want them to emulate.

5) Hold people accountable: Demand accountability from your team members, and don’t be afraid to call them out when they fall short. Reward them when they do well.


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Each of these benefits are important for career success. Gaining influence allows you to get things done and get your ideas heard. Developing relationships helps you build a support network of people who can help you advance in your career. Increasing your credibility makes people more likely to trust you and take your ideas seriously. And gaining knowledge allows you to stay ahead of the curve and be better equipped to handle challenges in your career. Speaking truth to power is not always easy, but it can be a powerful tool for career success.

Find our more in the original article here: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/fall2022/Pages/speaking-truth-to-power.aspx

This article summary was created by Eleanor Shakiba

Eleanor is a leadership trainer, success coach and people skills expert. She helps managers and business owners build thriving teams and organisations, using tools from Positive Psychology. She's trained more than 60,000 people during her career as a corporate trainer and professional development consultant. Her mission is inspiring talented people to become leaders who make a difference.