Recognising Honesty Day which was on 30 April, got us thinking about the link between honesty and collaboration.

•  How much time in a day are you collaborating?

•  What is the role of truthfulness in collaboration?

•  How do we ensure it is the right kind of collaboration? 🤔

According to Rob Cross’s Harvard Business Review article, “Pre-pandemic, many people spent 85% or more of their time each week in collaborative work — answering emails, instant messaging, in meetings, and using other team collaboration tools and spaces. This number has only grown throughout the pandemic, with no end in sight as we move into various forms of hybrid work.”

Rob and his team discovered three categories of behaviours common among successful people who are more efficient than their peers.

The article has many nuggets of wisdom, however, here are our three learnings from the article – areas we can reflect on and understand how to collaborate efficiently, productively, and honestly.

1. We can’t say ‘yes’ to everything. Get comfortable saying no.

Being helpful is excellent and being needed is pleasing to one’s soul. However, it’s not always beneficial to problem-solve everyone’s problems *all* the time.

Saying ‘yes’ to one thing also means saying ‘no’ to another priority, professional or otherwise. Our time is constrained to 24 hours a day. We are not limitless (for those with time-travelling abilities, let us know!).

Further, it may be detrimental for the person asking – as a Chinese proverb says, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” Try coaching the person instead of being the superhero to solve the problem for them.

Be clear on what is important, and remember it’s okay to say “no.”

2. It’s okay that you are not perfect!

Sometimes honesty about our limitations is the best approach. Saying “I don’t know” does not mean “I am not good enough.”

It means recognising it’s okay to admit we don’t have the answers, but we can find out. Be genuine and honest about your limits and brave enough to ask questions. This helps us reduce unnecessary roadblocks and allows others to share their struggles.

3. It’s okay if your plan isn’t flawless.

Sometimes we won’t have all of the information, a clear process, or a perfect plan — and that is okay.

As Rob Cross highlights, “Focus on being directionally correct and remain open to adapting ideas and plans as new information comes in.”

Looking internally, we can move forward with the project by ensuring that our plans aren’t driven by emotion, unwillingness to delegate, or challenge our own beliefs.

The three points listed above stand-out are those that stand out to the cultivate team.

What do you recognise and relate to the most if you are honest with yourself?


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