Truth-telling is justifiably perceived to be difficult, risky, and unrewarding.
- Who has not had his or her view of a situation invalidated by someone in authority?
- Who has not felt ashamed of causing another embarrassment by calling attention to a truth that was supposed to remain a secret?
Even as we are fascinated with courtroom drama, hoping to learn the real truth, it becomes apparent that even in court what is true depends on your point of view. When individuals perceive different truths it is far more common to try to invalidate each other’s truth than to explore further to discover the true nature of a problem.
Even those who are committed to telling the truth in theory often have difficulty putting the theory into practice.you need to learn how to recognize your own perceptions of the truth before you can become a truth teller.
Truth-telling without skillful communication puts the individual at risk of reprisal and worse at the hands of the majority, who fear new perspectives and change. Training in telling the truth so another can hear it, and so that the truth teller is not harmed in the process, is rare.
You need to develop skills in both recognizing truth and communicating it.
If you are trying to decide whether to tell the truth in a business or professional environment, or if you want to communicate truthfully and do not know how, the stories presented here should provide food for thought.
What Readers Say
“Real truth-telling, whether in business or personal relationships, is probably one of the hardest things to do – and yet, not doing it is the thing that keeps us from feeling safe and getting what we want. Laurie Weiss has done a masterful job helping us see our own self-deception and the paradox that ensues. The real genius is that she helps us see this and transform it, without any opportunity for beating ourselves up. A “Must Read” for anyone who works with, interacts with, or lives with other human beings!”
Nina East, author, Rapid Relationship Recovery, Master Mentor Coach, Certifying Examiner, International Association of Coaches
“This book has instructions on how to approach someone who knows he is right, even when he isn’t, saved our company at least $50,000. It also avoided a destructive confrontation with a valuable employee.
A master craftsperson was determined to do a repair without using critical new technology. When I asked questions and helped him save face, he decided that using the new technology was his own idea. What is the Emperor Wearing made the difference.”
Ken Carlson, Operations Manager, Denver Service Center, Rockwell Automation
“I’ve been looking for material like this, material I can share with my colleagues. The scenarios in each lesson are about real people in real situations described in plain language. Laurie Weiss uses them effectively.”
Ravi Sethi, President, Avaya Labs, Avaya Inc.
“One of the major things that is missing in business and in relationships is truth. I think we want to be truthful, but we are so used to hiding things it’s become hard for us to even know what’s true. What Is the Emperor Wearing? gives people the tools they desperately need in order to recognize and communicate the truth effectively.
This is high quality work, based on much thought, research and professional experience. I recommend it to anyone who wants to do both what is right and what is practical — at the same time.”
Lyn Christian, Life Strategist and Reinvention Coach, Creator of the Franklin-Covey Coach Training and the Legacy Learning Coach Training Program
“Business is an institution that holds truth to be rather low on the totem pole of values. Yet virtually all other institutions — religion, law, philosophy, science, art, psychology — encourage people to speak the truth without prejudice. This course tackles truth-telling in business with great insight and gusto and with marvelous examples. It is high time we took seriously the value of truth and how it applies practically to what after all affects us all — business.”
Alec Tsoucatos, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Economics and Business, Regis University
“ I loved the book. I read it. I got a lot of good ideas from it. I went to a meeting today with my boss and practiced active listening. I plan to do it more often. I think the case studies were interesting and universal, the advice sound. I’ll keep it on my shelf for reference, once it gets back from making the rounds of the rest of the office.”
Lorrie Lynch Senior Editor, USA WEEKEND magazine
“…insightful, …can serve as a quick reference in difficult situations…In today’s world, the success of most activities depends on people’s ability to work together. Dr. Weiss demonstrates that truth telling is the only reasonable path for organizations and individual relationships to excel.
Her argument is that learning the skills to communicate one’s own reality builds synergistic relationships and leads to greater productivity and satisfaction in the workplace.
The techniques discussed can easily be translated to settings other than business.”
The Master Facilitator Journal
“Empowering stories put truth-telling into practical business realm, no psycho-jargon…a refreshing and realistic statement of the power of truth-telling in business organizations. She makes a compelling case that is tempered by appropriate caution and sophistication and she maintains a sense of humor and wit that is captivating.
This information sets a standard for relationships in modern organizations, whether they be small business concerns, large corporations, or public sector bureaucracies.”
“A brief, helpful book about a subject that tends to keep lawyers squirming.”
The Docket: Colorado Bar Association
“This is a business management text, but applicable for anyone concerned with preserving personal ethics in their Monday-through-Friday lives.”
Rocky Mountain News
“This book will help you appreciate the value of your own truth-telling and share it with others. I urge you to read it and live by it.”
Ken Blanchard, coauthor, The One Minute Manager
“Laurie Weiss helps you break the taboo of not admitting the truth on the job by giving you the skills and strategies of truth-telling without damaging yourself or others. She offers important steps to create a supportive organizational culture and helps you experience both the relief and rewards that come with telling the truth.”
Dorothy Jongeward, coauthor, Born to Win
“Non-threatening, personal, and accessible. Laurie Weiss gives readers the opportunity to draw themselves out without feeling badly. The non-confrontational language makes it work.“
Lora Vahue, coach/consultant/writer
“Laurie Weiss gives us a refreshing and realistic statement of the power of truth-telling in business organizations. She makes a compelling case that is tempered by appropriate caution and sophistication — and she maintains a sense of humor and wit that is captivating. This book sets a standard for relationships in modern organizations, whether they be small business concerns, large corporations, or public sector bureaucracies.”
Robert W. Gage, Ph.D., professor of public affairs, University of Colorado
“…a goldmine of ideas…the first few pages provide more than one’s money’s worth…captivating real-life incidents.”
Transactional Analysis Journal
“…a must for every mediator’s bookshelf.”
Mediation News: Academy of Family Mediators
“Thoroughly refreshing…you’ll want this one in the top drawer of your desk where you can refer to it at a moments notice.”
I own two copies of What is the Emperor Wearing? Truth-Telling in Business Relationships — one to loan out to the people I support as an HR manager, and another to keep on hand as a reference I can turn to when I am faced with a challenging situation myself. I love how I can find just what I need by checking the table of contents. Your chapter titles, like “All I Did Was…Why Did She React That Way?” and “It’s Hard to Tell the Truth to Someone Who Won’t Listen” lead me to the exact information that matches the situation I must deal with.
Mary Schaefer, Human Resources Manager, Fortune 100 Company