What you do not know can, and ultimately does, hurt you and potentially others, too. Instead of keeping negative information hidden, what you want others to do is tell it like it is or at least let you know when something is amiss.
Communicating honestly, even when it raises tempers, will ultimately pull people together and build trust.
When communicating your thoughts is not the issue, but understanding the basis for criticism from others is, you may have to make some adjustments. For instance, in seeking clarification, try not to imply that the criticism is without merit until you hear the details. In addition, when responding to accusations, take care not to accept blame too soon.
The following list of responses will help to open up a conversation and stimulate an honest exchange of thoughts:
- I am confused about what you need from me and when you expect it.
- I am excited about this task, but I need more information to do it right.
- I am disappointed with these results because I had higher expectations.
- I am not prepared right now and need time to think about my response.
- I am reluctant to implement your suggestions without first consulting with my team.