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4. Introducing Honest Disclosure

Author: Barry Thorogood

Added: December 09 2012

Those of you who have been on a Team International programme know how important it is to open and close every meeting with a TFBSN. (TFBSN means disclosing what you are thinking, what you are feeling emotionally, what your body is feeling, how your Spirit is, and what you need at this moment)

At the start of a meeting it helps individuals to centre their energy, clear their minds from their previous activities and enables them to be present in the present moment. The team can then focus on the meeting agenda that is before them.

If there are any problems, they are flagged up at the beginning of the meeting and can be dealt with, or at least acknowledged. This is far better than proceeding in ignorance of a potential time bomb that could fester and explode at an inappropriate moment later on in the meeting!

Similarly, a TFBSN at the end of the meeting helps the leader to understand how the meeting went and how each individual perceived it. The team’s disclosure is the leader’s feedback.

You can see an example of this in Melanie Pullan’s comments on Linked in regarding our last team meeting. Mel is our most recent team member and learned TFBSN at her induction, prior to the start of the meeting. Her comments show to all the other attendees how she viewed the meeting. That is valuable feedback from a new member to the rest of the team and shows that:
1. We practice what we preach.
2. These lessons are taking place in real time.
3. We seem to be doing OK.

A structured disclosure such as a TFBSN is like sticking a thermometer into the group. Not only can it be used at the start of meetings and at the end, it can also be used in times of conflict, or when the meeting gets stuck, or prior to taking a decision, or after a decision has been taken, or in times of crisis.

Those of you who have been on our courses, are you still using it? Have you found it useful? Have you found it difficult to sustain? Was it difficult to introduce to new teams?

One of the problems that you may have encountered is this:

If your organisation’s culture is highly political employees are not used to open and honest disclosure. This means that there will be a resistance by your team members to disclose. They have no trust. People in such organisations have learned that if they disclose their true thoughts and feelings, then this disclosure will be used against them at a later date. Knowledge is power, and knowledge in the wrong hands (an unaware individual) can lead to an abuse of power.

The solution is to build TRUST, and you will soon realise that to do this, you will have to disclose first. By having the courage to go ahead anyway, and by modeling good behaviour you set an example for others to follow. After all, isn’t that what a good leader does?

Barry Thorogood

4. Introducing Honest Disclosure