5 ways to get your team to tell you the truth

You crave bright ideas and candid feedback, but are you creating an environment that’s fertile ground for honesty? Here’s how to extract raw thoughts and suggestions.

Ragan Insider Content

Are you squeezing every ounce of creativity and honest feedback out of your team?

You could be missing out on a trove of original ideas—all because of a simple, yet rampant, fear. Fear of speaking up (FOSU) is a workplace epidemic that stifles innovation and creative problem-solving. It prevents people from freely expressing ideas and sharing suggestions.

In today’s hyper-competitive business climate, people are often discouraged from saying the wrong thing and not rewarded for saying the right thing—so they say nothing. Some are just shy and hesitant to pipe up around others. The consequences of this hesitance can be dire: Employees disengage, problems go unsolved, campaigns flop, and businesses lose customers.

Managers typically think they’re creating an open, welcoming environment that encourages truth-telling. Most are surprised when they learn employees are holding back.

Of course, you can’t force anyone to speak, but these five tips will help you extract more candid feedback and thoughtful suggestions from your team:

1. Ask for candid feedback.

When you want to know what’s not working, ask: What’s not working?

More specifically, ask your team:

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