Speak – Overheard Honesty (I Think)

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from The Collared Sheep’s
News From The Cube

PLUS Five Points for Honesty

Yes, it’s true. I overheard “I’ll be open and honest with you but not right now.”

My immediate reaction? A little giggle, a raised eyebrow, and a bit of disbelief. Hmmm … At least this is an open statement, right? Bravo for not whispering. It’s worth something. Action-oriented. Clear expectations. It fits the project manager’s mnemonic of SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant/realistic, and timely/timeframe – for the most part. And in theory, communications with the intent of sharing knowledge is a good thing. All good, right?

MINUS Six Points for Honesty

And then again … Uhm? For me, at the time, I remember there was something about this overheard statement that made me giggle, because I thought it was a joke – I thought it would be followed with laughter. Rather, plans were being made to coordinate schedules for a meeting time and location. While I thought this statement was unbelievable, I sat back and thought, “Why not?” I believe each person in a workspace has the right to confide in someone – and to do so in privacy. Not every cubeopolis conversation has to be shared with fellow cubesters.

As I shared in anthrocubeologist deconsructed, I am interested in, among many things, BEHAVIOR, CONNECT, and DISCONNECT in the workspace. Admittedly, while this is one of my go-to stories when others are talking about workspace nuttiness, it also has become one of my non-scientific research efforts. I find myself reflecting on this from several different angles such as –

  • Why did I react the way I did when I overheard this?
  • Does it matter that this was spoken by a senior person to a new hire?
  • Conversely, would this matter differently if a new hire said this to a manager?
  • By sharing what I overheard with others off-line and on-line, what is that saying about me?
  • Is there some kind of “honesty sliding scale” where things like context, position, age, and feelings matter?

More Exploring

Here are a few things that have crossed my path on my recent pondering …

When you hear the words “HONEST in the WORKPLACE” – what do you think of? Of what do these words remind you?


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