To tell you the truth

My Director of Technology was venting over lunch. “Why did you agree to purchase that company, John? Their backup product is a pile of crap and now we have to sell and support it. To tell you the truth, I never supported the decision to buy it.” Sigh. I was so wrapped up in the challenge of making the deal, I must have signaled the review team that all I wanted to hear was reinforcement of a buy decision.

What exactly are you saying to people when you use this phrase? “Well, to tell you the truth…”

What I hear is “everything I’ve said up to now has been a lie.”

These days, I always call people on this when they use this phrase. For productive meetings, you need people to speak up and tell what they see to be the truth. Too often, your team thinks they are expected to agree with you rather than share their own individual points of view.

The best decision making includes a stage where diverse voices are heard. Where the opinions of those affected by the decisions are heard and considered. Where potential issues are aired, discussed, and accepted.

Once all this is done and a decision is made, the team needs to salute and focus on successful execution. The sooner you start telling the truth, the sooner you can reach a conclusion that your team believes in and commits to execute.

An End to Meeting Madness documents our decades of experience in facilitating high-stakes meetings. If you’re interested in having productive meetings that help set your strategy and keep your projects productive and on track, read the book, listen to my On-Demand webinar Run Leadership Meetings That Burst With Fresh Ideas, or contact me at (800)207-8192 or

Posted in HR Management | Tagged | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *