Trust overt or covert challenge?

Is it better to trust someone that you can see openly challenging you or is it better to trust those that hide the same actions?

It’s quite a simple question with some very interesting observations.  I’ve seen a range of approaches and it’s fascinating to see how many people are trapped trusting those who are covertly campaigning against them.  They seem to do this because they fear challenge and don’t observe or recognize the covert action.  They can not or do not see how people can be manipulated to ensure that the perpetrator is not obviously the instigator and how deflection is the gift of a deceiver.

Perhaps this is the accepted nature of politics; but it does not have to be so.  It is perpetuated by the thirst for power or influence; and the perceived need to prevent challenge, to prevent criticism and a very real fear of failure.

But I have had the privilege of working with some very intellectual and very wise people.  True Directors, influencers and visionaries who use failure as a learning exercise, who use challenge as an opportunity to learn and debate.  As for politics, they do theirs in the open.  By keeping an open door to their thoughts and ideas, but allowing those ideas and thought to change, and by keeping a ‘come challenge me, I am willing to listen’ approach, the covert challengers find no easy pain points to push against.

In a world of positive politicians and managers, personal and professional growth is possible, constructive challenge is viable, positive relationships are created between workers, and perhaps more importantly, people can trust people without fear of the covert back stabbing politics of the ‘old religion’.

Technology and rapid open communications have enabled the change.  The constant release of ‘private’ information – from state secrets to tax havens – have shown us this.  If these companies and states would have been open about this information it would have no value and everyone would be clear.  Any dishonesty or immorality would be debated and moderated or understood well before it became a scandal or have any covert value.

So keep your mind open, keep your door open, and keep your politics in the public.

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