Leadership Series: Create an Atmosphere where your People can Tell the Truth

I received a call this afternoon.


My new supervisor made a big boo-boo — She erroneously gave our staff the wrong schedule causing the store to still remain closed until noon. The late opening caused us to incur mall late opening charges, which usually, if hidden, can be charged to the affected staff for not reporting to work on time.

I think it took a lot of guts for her to call me and admit her mistake. She could have easily kept quiet and allowed the staff to be charged for the late opening.

But she didn’t.

I’m really sorry for this,” she said. I’m sure she was nervous and rehearsed the conversation in her mind on how she can possibly explain the boo boo. She did not really know how I would react. She then quickly told me that all her stores now have sales, which is a way to appease my anger.

However, credit is given when credit is due.

Actually, I already know about her mistake earlier today, but appreciate that she came forward to admit it to me myself instead of waiting for me to call her out on it tomorrow. I know that somebody might have coached her to come forward to tell me, but still, I am glad that she did instead of not listening and kept quiet about it.

I told her that I would charge her for the late store opening, but it shouldn’t be a lot. Then we laughed it off and we parted in good ways.

I’m sure that she is relieved after the call is over.

Sometimes, it is the uncertainty on how a boss would react that would cause staff to be nervous and not perform as well. I am glad that she came clean earlier so that she can focus on the work ahead, instead on how I would react. That way, we can put this behind us and just work forward.

Being a good leader is creating an environment where staff can come clean with their faults so that you can easily come up with a solution instead of worrying about the past.

Problems will always arrive, especially at work.

But what’s more important is how you solve the problem, instead of the problem yourself.

Sure, it’s easy to get angry at your staff. But this will not solve anything, and it will just give your staff anxiety. An anxious staff is not an effective staff.

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Focus on the solution. And ensure that the staff is serious in taking accountability and not allowing it to happen again.


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