I have a preference for direct and honest communication. I don’t have time to beat around the bush or make assumptions and take guesses – usually wrong, about what is being said. There’s nothing worse than the vibe of things left unsaid or half said or hidden within other things that are said.
What I’m talking about here are the tough conversations, the quality conversations that you and your friends, your family or your work colleagues need to have. You know the ones. Don’t hide in the comfort of not saying, stand in the discomfort and be courageous – which is why I declare – give it to me straight. Tell me directly, I want to know exactly what you want me to know. Please be specific and be clear, you are being kind in doing so.
Here are some suggested considerations to help create an environment for truth to thrive for all of us, irrespective of whether you are giving or receiving the messages.
- React in a way that encourages directness. Viewing any communication as an opportunity, not a threat, can keep us holding an expanded and curious position. This makes it easier to respond and build rather than react and destroy.
- Assume positive intent – sometimes we struggle with the way a message is presented rather than the content. Giving the benefit of the doubt creates an openness to hear the content even without letting the approach get in the way.
- Seek to understand – before responding ensure that the message has been heard as intended – asking questions and summarising always helps.
- Be accountable. Take ownership for your role in the communication and the response you make, or the message you are sharing.
- Say what needs to be said. Focus, no need to meander or get lost on the way, get straight to the heart of the matter and spend the time there.
In the Veda Philosophy, there is a concept of the “Sweet Truth” – telling the truth always and doing so in a way that is kind, gentle, compassionate and when it is beneficial to do so. I love this and try to practice where I can and when I remember.