Over the past four years I have worked in three very different environments. I valued certain parts of each of those environments and learned a great deal about what my ideal workspace looks like. For instance, I now know I need to work around people – I found that sitting in an office by myself for the majority of a day did not suit or motivate me. I also discovered I have a certain standard for the space around me. This can relate to cleanliness, whether coworkers smoke (please don’t!), or how available resources are stored. One of my newly discovered must-haves: working in a feedback rich and authentic environment. I have found this list inspires me to do my best work while having the confidence others are aspiring to make the collaborated effort the best it can be.

Halley Bock, the President and CEO of Fierce, Inc. recently published a post in Software Advice‘s HR blog, The New Talent Times entitled, “Why Honesty is the Secret Ingredient of Successful Organizations.” She makes the case that although “creating a culture of honesty […] take[s] discipline and constant attention,” it is well worth the effort. Long term, a culture of honest feedback yields a higher shareholder return and allows issues to be handled quickly, unemotionally, and efficiently. Bock discusses the need to give in-the-moment feedback, to keep feedback brief, blunt, and separate from positive feedback. She also reminds us that feedback is an ongoing process – one that should be a running dialogue. As Mark Fernandes posted in a recent blog about his Dobermans, in-the-moment feedback (or as close to the moment as possible) has the highest chance of being heard, remembered, and applied.

What always gets me confused is that the majority of people want this type of environment, but it exists so rarely in organizations. Fierce, Inc. surveyed over 1,400 executives and employees and found that 99% prefer “a workplace where co-workers discuss issues truthfully.” But they also found that 37% felt their companies’ portrayed values that did not align with this need.

Each individual makes a conscious choice as to how they live, work, and lead. If you are in an environment where honesty and candor is something to aspire to – be the change you wish to see. The more authentic people see you, the more comfortable they will feel being their authentic self. This means not only offering real-time feedback, but also asking for it. Asking and thanking coworkers for their feedback is the best way to ensure honest feedback begins to seep into the culture of the organization.

Luck Companies advocates and celebrates this authenticity. We define Values Based Leadership as living, working, and leading in alignment with your core values, principles, and beliefs. Since we view all 850 associates as leaders, we have an expectation that 850 individuals are spending their days in alignment with who they truly want to be. This creates a platform for associates to use a common language to work first on themselves. We attempt to model this behavior from the c-suite to the front line. Top executives share their development opportunities, their struggles, and their successes. Knowing that they are honest in this space casts a beautiful shadow onto the organization, allowing the rest of us to feel comfortable stepping into this vulnerable space as well.



Danielle Aaronson

Danielle Aaronson

Danielle’s mission is to inspire leaders to make intentional choices that move them to positive action. She speaks at conferences, management summits, and leadership programs as well as facilitates efforts with executives and senior leaders at organizations seeking to influence their culture. Her mantra, “be the change you wish to see in the world” has allowed her to strive every day to be the best she can be and help others recognize the potential they have to make a positive difference. @deaaronson

close slider

    Subscribe to the InnerWill email for inspirational stories and tips on how to build engagement, trust, and success at work and beyond – delivered right to your inbox every Monday morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.