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Honesty in the Workplace

Last week, [former] Fierce CEO & President, Halley Bock published a piece on the Software Advice blog. The article, Why Honesty Is the Secret Ingredient of Successful Organizations, explores that a culture plagued by 'terminal niceness" misses opportunities to innovate, enrich relationships, and grow the business.

Halley says, "Candor doesn’t simply happen organically. Organizations must proactively choose to encourage employees for being forthright and reward them accordingly. Our organization, Fierce, Inc., recently conducted a survey of more than 1,400 executives and employees found that an overwhelming—but predictable—99 percent of professionals preferred a workplace where co-workers discuss issues truthfully. How important is honesty? This survey found that 70 percent of respondents believed a lack of candor impacted their company’s ability to perform optimally."

Last Thursday, Forbes contributor Erika Andersen, called out Halley's article and weighed in on the topic of honesty in the workplace with her own piece, 8 Very Bad Things That Happen When Companies Are Too Nice.

In the beginning of her article Erika highlights Halley's piece and says, "One sentence in particular caught my eye: “Our survey uncovered a disturbing statistic: 37 percent of respondents felt their organizations suffered from the malady of “terminal niceness,” valuing politeness over the pursuit of the best ideas and perspectives.” I’ve long seen the negative impact of ‘terminal niceness’ (great phrase) in organizations. In such organizations, people think the way to support and respect each other is to be polite at any cost: not to disagree, give people tough news, hold them accountable, or let them know when they’re not succeeding."

Honesty in the workplace is a topic that impacts every level within an organization and the top and bottom line of a business. Within your organization, can you be honest?

To read Erin Andersen's full article on, click here.

If you haven't yet read Halley Bock's full article on the Software Advice blog, you can do so by clicking here.


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