I was speaking with Nancy at the end of a conference; she shared with me a coaching moment she gave to one of her junior team members. We’ll call him Bob.
In the real estate industry, Bob had made a mistake that was going to cost a property owner a few hundred dollars.
Seeking guidance from Nancy, he asked, “What will I tell the owner?”
“Just tell the truth”, replied Nancy.
“What? What do you mean tell the truth?” he asked. “I can’t do that.”
“Why not?” asked Nancy.
“Well, I made a mistake, I can’t admit that.”
Nancy was shocked. This was way out of alignment with her values.
“Bob, we can spend the next 20 minutes making up a story that both of us will have trouble remembering or you can just tell the truth. It’s far easier and more productive to be honest.”
“Just tell the truth?” he repeated.
“Yes and the longer you stand here talking about it, the harder it’s going to be. Just go and make the call and let me know how it goes.”
Bob returned to Nancy’s office about 20 minutes later.
“How did you go?” she asked.
“The owner was quite understanding and agreed to my recommendation and thanked me for being honest.”
“That’s great. Remember, Bob, it’s so much easier if you just tell the truth.”
I’m curious. What advice would you have given Bob?
What would your team members have done?
This little case study could be a great conversation starter to generate discussion amongst your team.