What do you do when you distrust your coworkers?
One of the key components of your BULLIT score is Trustworthiness: are you a straight shooter or do you sometimes miss the mark? Can you be trusted to get the job done well, or do you need a little extra oversight to make sure everything goes smoothly? As part of your larger score, your trustworthiness can manifest itself in all the other qualities that are important to career success: leadership, urgency (your timeliness), and brains.
Which is why a recent article in Fast Company reminded us just how important that one aspect of your BULLIT score really is. In “How to Deal with Coworkers You Distrust”, Steve Errey of The Muse writes about an instance where he came across a widespread business practice and felt as if none of his coworkers were acting with any integrity when completing their client contracts. He goes on to outline his recommendations for what to do when you run into a coworker who you feel is downright distrustful.
We recommend you check out all of Errey’s advice, but the piece that resonated the most was “professionalism doesn’t preclude honesty.” The easiest thing to do when you see a coworker being dishonest or becoming someone you can’t trust is to just keep your head down and work around that person. No one likes a snitch, and speaking up about a fellow coworker can feel like an act of betrayal. But, Errey reminds us,
When the people in a workplace choose comfort over courage, when they choose what’s fast or easy over what’s right, and when they profess values instead of actually practicing them, the organization is doomed…The notion of professionalism as “keeping your head down” or “towing the party line” is dead. In today’s world, professionalism demands that you act honestly and courageously when you see something that lacks integrity.
So what should you do? We have an easy solution that still lets you do what’s right.
Start by logging into BULLIT and searching for your coworker’s profile. You’ll have an opportunity to leave them anonymous feedback and rate them on the BULLIT qualities — brains, urgency, logic, leadership, imagination, and trustworthiness. Because your review is totally anonymous, you should be free to honestly tell this person that you’ve noticed their dishonesty, and that it’s affecting their trustworthiness. Give them enough feedback for them to be able to course-correct: feedback should be helpful and constructive, instead of damaging and accusatory.
Errey says that speaking up about an employee who has lost their integrity takes courage, and takes openness. We agree — but not to the point where you should be dissuaded from making your opinion known. The anonymity of BULLIT protects you to be free to say what you want, and the person you’re giving feedback to can still hide your review if they feel it’s unfair. It’s not like you’re sabotaging their career. They still have control over their profile, and can choose to show or hide any and all reviews. It’s how they choose to respond to your feedback that matters most.
Keep an eye on their profile — see if they’re getting similar reviews, and how they respond to each piece of feedback. Are they taking the time to comment and agree or disagree? Are they simply hiding everything, and carrying on as if no one had taken the time to give them some feedback?
BULLIT is the first step toward opening a conversation if you see something unethical or if you’re surrounded by people you know don’t share your values. Of course, you shouldn’t just stop there if the change you wish to see goes unaddressed. We’re here to give you the boost you need to make sure you’re holding your coworkers and clients accountable. Sign up for our community at beta.bullit.me.