She vacillated for months. Her boss was micromanaging everything that she and her team were doing. Never satisfied with anything that was produced by anyone on the team, her boss felt compelled to change even the smallest of details. It was a blind spot for the leader for sure, and unfortunately demoralizing to the entire team.
When she found what she thought was the right opportunity to discuss this blind spot with her boss, hoping it would make a change, she unfortunately found herself on the receiving end of even tighter scrutiny and micromanagement, eventually ending in her termination.
He was experiencing some erosion of trust with his friend. The friend began acting and behaving in a way that was outside their normal behavior. As the behavior became increasingly amplified, he began wondering what the truth was and what were lies any time that his friend shared a story. He invited his friend to meet for breakfast one morning to talk about it.
Defensiveness was their shield. His friend took offense at what was being shared, so much so that they got up and left. As he sat their wondering if he had made the right call to bring this change in behavior to his friend of more than 20 years, his first feeling was regret. That feeling quickly gave way to relief as he knew the conversation had to happen. To this day they have not spoken, and the hopes are that his friend has made some changes in their life, wherever they may be today.
There was a deep family secret. Something that was held onto for a very long time. So many opportunities to get the skeleton out of the closet, yet too many excuses about why it was never the right time. Then one day the truth was shared, the skeleton set free from its chains. Thinking that finally the air would be cleared, knowing it might take time for the family and friends to understand, they believed all would eventually be OK and the sins of the past forgiven. It was not to be, not yet anyway. The truth and pain were too much. Those secrets hidden for so long brought too much current-day pain.
The truth will set us free. For those of us hearing the truth, I guess sometimes it depends on if we are ready to handle the truth. For those delivering the truth, it truly is freedom.
How often have we wished we could say exactly what is on our mind? Probably more than we can count on our fingers and toes. We remain quiet, but why? Political correctness? Maybe we don’t want to hurt a family member, friend, peer or employer. The issue could be so white-hot that anything we say will possibly be misconstrued and the tables turned on us. We might stay quiet because we fear being canceled, shut out, unfriended or blocked on social media.
Here’s the real question, as the examples above were about real people who shared their stories and experienced negative repercussions. The question is, the title of this column, can we handle the truth? We live in a world of chaos, corruption, and lies. Chaos, corruption, and lies that companies, politicians, television, social media and people will justify because they believe it is for our greater good. Is it? Is it really? We cannot manage what we do not know. Maybe it’s not our place to manage it anyway. But we all want the truth. Can we handle it?
Who is the arbiter of truth? For me, I find it through my faith, as it is the way, the truth, and the life. Even for my many, many sins of the past, by the way probably the record holder of sins, I know that the truth comes from one source, our God. I would love to hear your story of handling the truth at email@example.com, and when we can get to a place where we can handle the truth, no matter how hard it is, it really will be a better than good life.
Michael Norton is an author, a personal and professional coach, consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator of individuals and businesses, working with organizations and associations across multiple industries.