Do you believe you can be authentic at work? Or do you have the thought that if you gave your boss direct feedback, that shortly afterwards; you would be looking for a new job? The challenge is, if you choose to withhold, the consequences can be damaging and effect your ability to build trusting relationships, which effects how you engage with your teammates and might end up costing you your next promotion.
Let me explain, I am not telling you to run into work and unconsciously blurt out every thought you are experiencing. However, I am suggesting that you start noticing when you are withholding and the stories you have attached to why you withhold. The key is to break the pattern of this unhealthy behavior. Once you notice that you are withholding from a colleague or your boss ask yourself, "What am I most afraid of?" Once you understand your own motivation you can begin to build commitment to reveal instead of conceal.
Here are some other questions to explore:
"Do I want to be known as trustworthy?"
"Would I want to be given honest and timely feedback from my colleagues and boss?"
I suggest you set yourself a goal or make a new commitment. For example; "I commitment to be honest with those I want to build a deeper relationship with." Share your new commitment with those close to you at work and at home.
With any new behavior change, it is important to practice it daily for 28 days in a row. Create a reminder in your calendar to check in each day and see if you have withheld information, facts or feelings from an important colleague or your boss. If you have withheld, take action on your new commitment and speak directly to that person.
At the end of the 28 days of practice take time to celebrate your successes and get curious about any on-going impulse to withhold. I have used this practice for many years and it has supported me in creating great professional and personal relationships.
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