This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.
This story reflects one of the key points in the Get Real manifesto: Mistakes are inevitable; how you handle them reveals your true character.
Mozilla chose to handle their mistake in a trust-building way by using a caveat to openly acknowledge the discomfort (“Well, this is embarrassing”). Other caveat examples include:
- “There’s really no easy way to say this.”
- “You’re probably not going to like what I have to say.”
- “This is awkward.”
Caveats—spoken genuinely and without a “but” or “however” to follow—are conversational jewels. They make it easier for both giver and the receiver to initiate a conversation about a difficult topic.
Bonus: Making it Real
This week, practice using caveats. How?
Think about a challenging business relationship where topics are being avoided or negative patterns aren’t being called out. What isn’t being said that needs to be said? How might you use a caveat to get the conversation going?
- Learn about six risks you should take to build trust.
- Read about the skill of risk-taking in Chapter 9 of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust.
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