Why it’s hard to tell your manager the truth

Telling the truth is something many people strongly believe. When you’re growing into an adult you learn really fast that lying doesn’t have many advantages, if any. This carries well into adult life and is the defining feature of many great people in our world. Then why is it so hard to tell a manager the truth?

Is it because we’re scared to get fired?

This is probably one of the main reasons we don’t speak our mind and be honest with out managers. Getting fired is a horrible feeling so we try to steer around the scenario. We need money to live, and often we aren’t in a position to not have a reasonable income. The problem with this train of thought is that there are very few things that could actually get you fired for bringing them up, but it’s just the way we think sometimes.

Is it because we think it won’t change anything?

This has to be one of the most common reasons for employees to not tell the entire truth to their manager. Many have been through quite a lot in their time as an employee, and this is one of the main reasons. Once a company reaches a certain size, communication is hard and priorities are set. “We only have the resources for X” or “We’ll do that once we have this released and stable” are common things to hear. There is no such thing as a company historian, a lot of things will get lost in time. When things don’t change it’s hard to stay positive. You learn to deal with it the best you can and move on to help the best you can in the next thing. We should’t have to go through this, we should keep records of these things.

Will we seem like we aren’t a team player?

No one likes to be a narc, especially when your known as a team player. Teams need trust to function, and calling someone or something out leads to eroding that trust.

At a certain point we just can’t dismiss something anymore. Enough is enough and something needs to be done for the better. If employees are given anonymity, the team trust can stay and the right thing can be done.

Will we look like pessimists?

There’s a slight difference between a pessimist and someone trying bring up problems to bring about change. If problems are written down and brought up to executives, they will continue to be brought up. This can be bad for someone that likes to bring up problems because it seems like they’re always complaining. One way to to avoid this is to try and come up with multiple solutions to a problem and have a dedicated place where everyone in the company can see a recorded history of these things.


These are all things that nobody wants to happen. Internalizing them and deciding that it would just be better for us to keep our mouths shut and do our jobs, do what we’re paid to do. This works for awhile but can cause severe motivation problems for yourself and others.

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