I once heard a CEO talking to her people about a tight spot in which they found themselves. The people were understandably concerned about the future of their jobs and wanted to know if management was considering layoffs.

When facing such questions, it’s natural for a leader to feel anxious about saying what’s true. However, if you don’t tell them the truth, they’re going to feel like you have something to hide.

For the CEO in question, she told her people that she couldn’t rule out layoffs. However, layoffs were at the bottom of the list of options, as it would have the most significant negative impact on both the company and them.

The result of her honesty seemed to be an increase in trust. The people dug in and found innovative ways to overcome their problems.

Transparency is never a mistake.

You’ve got this.

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