“The desire to avoid conflict is understandable, but it’s one of the most debilitating factors in organizational life. Lack of candor contributes to longer cycle times, slow decision making, and unnecessarily iterative discussions. A too-polite veneer often signals an overly politicized workplace; Colleagues who are afraid to speak honestly to people’s faces do it behind their backs. This behavior exacts a price.
True collaboration is impossible when people don’t trust one another to speak with candor. Solving problems requires that team members be unafraid to ask questions or propose wrong answers. Risk management is another area that relies almost completely on people’s admitting their mistakes. It takes work to create a candid environment supported by respectful, honest relationships, but it’s a challenge every leader should embrace.”
Harvard Business Review Magazine, January-February 2012 issue.