Your employees lie to you!
There, I said it. Each and every one of the people in your organisation lies and do so on a regular basis. Some straight to your face.
Based on this realisation (although deep down you knew already), how does a leader build an organisation that has a foundation of trust and respect if everyone lies?
We’re consistently informed of the importance for all organisations to have high levels of trust–between team members; between leaders and their direct reports. This is a worthwhile focus but how does a leader do this based on the knowledge that everyone lies?
According to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 60% of adults can’t have a 10-minute conversation without lying at least once. The study goes on to say that most of the lies have little or no impact and culturally are defined as ‘little white lies.’
Human lie detectors
Great leaders are like human lie detectors and use a variety of strategies ranging from eye movements, blinking rates and body language to determine if the truth is being told.
Other indicators include noticing when people provide too much information and when they don’t provide enough. The list of things they look for and notice is quite staggering. The thing that underpins all of this is focus.
Is lie-detecting an essential leadership skill? Although it would be handy one, it’s probably not on the top 10 list of leadership skills.
The one skill that we can take from lie-detecting is that no matter what strategy you are engaging there’s a need to be fully focused on the person you’re listening to.
Engage with your team
When you are engaged in conversation with your team, being focused on that one person not only enhances the communication it also builds strong relationships. As simple as this sounds it’s a challenging skill to become proficient at.
When you delve into the study of effective leaders, we find that people comment on the how positive their interactions are when dealing with them.
Adding to this, impactful leaders seem to have a highly developed ability to engage intensely with people very quickly, sometimes for very short periods of time. These small yet intense interludes have significant benefits in building trust between a great leader and their team.
So, the next time you are engaging with your team members ensure that you give them your best great leader human lie detector focus.