Transparency Starts at ‘Home’

I recently had an experience at work where I asked someone to go above and beyond what they normally would for a  good cause. They were able to give no promises, and I understood it was unlikely to actually happen.

In the eleventh hour, they pulled out the stops and managed to do what I had requested, and I was naturally thrilled.

When I went to give the good news to the person it was for, however, I suddenly realised my mistake. However it had happened, I had provided the wrong reference number – and all the extra effort had been expended on the wrong task.

I immediately had two options:
1) own up to the colleague who had gone the extra mile
2) not mention it, as it was possible they’d never find out anyway

I’m sad to say that my immediate instinct was to do the latter. It was only after taking a deep breath and actually thinking about the situation that I owned up right away. I don’t know about you, but for years I had issues with fearing what people would think of me if I admitted to fault. The problem was that the moment I hesitated, it suddenly became increasingly difficult to be honest about it.

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about how engaging with people through “Social Media” requires honesty, openness and transparency.

I think it’s as good a time as any to remember that it’s just as important (if not more) to be transparent, open and honest in our everyday dealings with workmates, friends and family.

You might “get away with it” – but for how long, and at what cost?