Candor Gives Facility Executives Credibility

facility management, communication, top management   April 17, 2008

I’m Ed Sullivan, editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today’s topic is the importance of candor when facility executives deal with top management.

Fielding questions or – worse – complaints from top management or departmental managers is stressful. But facility executives should avoid the temptation to sugar coat messages to other organizational leaders.

For example, it’s a mistake to promise something that can’t be done, even when it’s clear that the other party wants to hear that it can be done. If it’s going to take 12 weeks to complete a project, and a facility executive says it can be done in 8, he or she will lose credibility when the project isn’t completed on time.

Likewise, facility executives should admit it when they don’t have the answer to questions. A bluff may work some of the time, but eventually the facility executive will get caught. Once again, credibility will suffer.

Perhaps the hardest thing to be up front about are problems. A natural tendency is to say nothing and hope that the problem can be fixed or that no one will notice. That’s the wrong approach. The faster that top managers know about bad news – especially related to the budget – the sooner that steps can be taken to address the problem.


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