When it comes to the topic of truth we often think of things, concepts, and events that we trust and believe are factual. Truth and trust go together. If I were to ask you about the people in your life who you trust to tell you the truth, you would probably begin listing some of your family members and/or close friends. When discussing truthful relationships often times we think of personal relationships with those we trust and hold dear. Professionally speaking, when it comes to truth in business dealings, the people in our trust circle gets very small. However, just as it’s important to have relationships with people we trust in our personal lives, it’s equally important to have people we trust in our professional lives and in businesses.
The truth about business is that we need people around us ( that we trust) to help us see the truth, accept the truth, and manage the truth. Managing a business day in and day out requires a lot of moving pieces and parts. The truth is that not everything is going to run smoothly all the time. The challenge comes in learning to recognize the truth about where you are now versus where you want to be. Not only that you also must recognize the work that it will take to help you navigate through the process of reaching your goals and arriving at your ultimate destination.
Here are a few questions to ponder as you consider what’s true and what’s false in business.
- Who can tell you the truth about yourself? As the leader in your company, you set the tone for how things get done. You are a human being with strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you can handle constructive criticism and feedback.
- Who can tell you the truth when it comes to your business? Your business has a reputation. Your customers and clients either love your business or like your business or not so much. It’s important to know what your current customers and clients like, dislike, and love about doing business with you and your company.
- Who can tell you the truth about your career? Whether you are self-employed or an employee, there are times when you need career advice. The fact is no matter what industry you’re in, you should have a trusted advisor or mentor who offers you advice and a swift kick in the pants if you need it.
- Who do you trust to give you unbiased advice and feedback about the next best move you should make for your brand or business? Operating a business is not for the faint at heart. In order to run a successful business, you must know a little about a lot of different things. For example, you must know when it’s time to outsource, hire staff and or get help. Another very important thing you must know how to do is acquire new customers for your business as well as retain existing ones. These are just a couple of things that business owners must navigate, there are many others. And navigating business concepts requires that you analyze and review things from an accurate and truthful viewpoint.
Why is the TRUTH so important?
The truth is powerful. The truth is the one thing in the universe that is not for sale and cannot be bought. The bottom line is simply that the truth is what it is. For some, the truth is an area of shame and blame. People lie to avoid the truth. People hide to avoid the truth. But the truth stands and eventually emerges as the great equalizer.
It’s important that we live in truth. It’s important that we do business in truth. Truth is far better than existing in a place of deception, lies, and shame. The sad part is that many people choose dishonesty over truth even in random situations. In a study conducted by, psychologist Robert S. Feldman from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the data found that 60 percent of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation and told an average of two to three lies. “People tell a considerable number of lies in everyday conversation. It was a very surprising result. We didn’t expect lying to be such a common part of daily life,” Feldman said.
Truth is what enables us to take accountability in our lives and businesses so we can continue to grow.
Here are a few tips to help you determine how to deal with tough business situations where a dose of truth serum is more than likely the best medicine. I’ll use the word truth as my acronym to drive my points home.
T – Take the time to Tally Your Performance.
Allocating time to look internally to determine what areas of your business need attention is a smart business strategy. Grade yourself in critical performance areas. Look at key performance indicators to get an idea about how well you are doing. Where did you excel and where did you fail?
R – Recognize that resilience is necessary.
A business owner needs resilience to operate a business effectively and successfully. Being able to adjust to mishaps, mistakes or misfortune is critical to your success. As a business owner, you must accept that business won’t always be great, and things will not always work out. Giving up at the first sign of difficulty will not get you anywhere. Being resilient means that you toughen up and understand that growing pains are a part of life and a part of business.
U – Understand that you can’t fix what you refuse to face.
In every business, there are areas where your company (or you the entrepreneur) may simply miss the mark. The truth is, your business can’t be great at everything all at the same time. Figure out what problems you solve well for a specific group of people and master those areas. Then take a hard look at the areas where you know need improvement. You must look at the mistakes as well as the successes. Review your systems, processes, and procedures to figure out what needs attention. Upon a good review, it will be easier to determine what is working well and what’s not working at all.
T – Talk to Trusted Advisors.
Everyone needs someone in their life who will tell them the truth regardless. Everyone needs someone in their business who will tell them the truth regardless. The question is, who can tell you the truth? There are times when we simply don’t trust the opinions of certain people in our personal or professional lives and therefore, we are unwilling to hear their version of what the truth is. Nonetheless, it’s very important to maintain relationships with people who are unafraid to offer you unbiased truthful feedback on your life, business, and career. Don’t just entertain “yes” people in your network. Your network must include mentors and colleagues who will give you a dose of reality including honest and harsh feedback or advice whenever you need it.
H – Have hard conversations.
Having hard conversations means that you are not afraid to deal with difficult topics. Sometimes you may need to have tough conversations with your staff, teammates, partners or customers, and clients. There are also times when you may need to have a hard long look at the man or woman in the mirror and have a talk with yourself. Either way, don’t be afraid to have difficult situations. The key to having difficult conversations that are productive is to simply identify the desired outcome from the onset.
For example, if your team is not working well together, identify the ultimate goals for the unit and then decipher what the missing pieces are or what the weakest links are that are inhibiting the effectiveness of the overall team. Look at potential threats. Determine the weaknesses you have as a team. Don’t wait until things fall apart. Ask the tough questions from the beginning. Ask the question, what’s the worst-case scenario here? Playing devil’s advocate can help the team to consider all possible scenarios of a situation and prepare in advance.
TRUTH IS RARE…BUT IT WILL SET YOU APART AND HELP YOU GAIN RESPECT.
In summary, taking an honest and truthful approach is important whether it pertains to life lessons or business lessons. Telling the truth and nothing but the truth is rare. That’s why you should do it. Practicing the truth will set you apart from most people. We waste time energy and effort whenever we avoid the truth. In the end, the truth always has a way of coming out sooner or later. Recovering from lies is much harder than recovering from the truth that hurts. That’s why a healthy dose of truth is always the best approach.
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This article was written by Lori A. Manns. President of Quality Media Consultant Group. Lori is a multi-award-winning marketing mentor, sales coach, and trailblazing business strategist who works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them grow and scale their businesses. She specializes in sales and marketing strategies that result in her clients attracting their target market, gaining brand visibility, and growing revenue. Lori is President of Quality Media Consultant Group, a consultancy firm specializing in media, advertising, marketing, and sales. She is the founder of the Trailblazer Business Academy. where advancing entrepreneurs go to learn growth strategies and how to run a profitable business the soulful way. Lori is also the creator of the Sponsorship Sales Secrets.