Are you getting real with your team?
Is your team getting real with you?

As a leader you are living on the edge between representing authority on the one hand and serving your team in order for each of your team members to reach their particular goals. If this is not complicated enough in and of itself, you also know that you really need to know what is going on under the surface.

Sadly you don’t get to know what is going on at that level just by the nature of your position. Authority is useless when it comes to this level of awareness and communication. You get to know what is going on only if you are able to build, sustain and foster a space that not only makes your team feel comfortable, but also a space where your team actually WANTS and is LOOKING FORWARD to honestly sharing the important things with you.

When I say “the important things” I am not referring to your sales targets or your achieved or unachieved goals. Everyone should know these. When I say “the important things” I am referring to team morale, culture, unseen dynamics, subtle communication, levels of commitment and ownership, to namefew.  This is what will make or break your team. Being able to foster open, honest conversations where teams can actually get real has been one of the greatest challenges I have seen in 20 years of leading and supporting organizations.

Fostering open, honest, and real conversations that lead to sustained high levels of trust are true signs of a leader.
The challenge is doing so without getting defensive and without taking things personally, while at the same time being able to summon all the richness that criticism and doubt can distill.

Generally, this learning curve takes decades.  Additionally, we would often need to go through several difficult situations along the way. Nevertheless, if we move away from learning through trial and error, and commit to building and sustaining trust through coaching and mentorship early on, it will not only save us several unpleasant situations but also allow us to achieve a long, inspiring and highly successful careers.


Dr. Pedro Cortina is CEO & Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute  He is an author, speaker, life and executive coach, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment. Curflexion is sold through