Telling the Truth is a Loving Act

The tendency in most organizations—whether large companies, government departments or even family units—is not to rock the boat and refrain from telling telling our truth. For a variety of reasons, we hold back from saying what's true for us. We may fear being ostracized, held up for promotion, ridiculed or even fired.

But that's not the way to greatness; that's the way to mediocrity or even failure. To grow, we have to tell the truth—OUR truth.

I'm talking here about sharing what we believe, what we feel and what we think about things that matter.

Sometimes we hold back because we're protecting the person or persons we need to confront. Maybe we're not sure they can handle the truth. But we do them and ourselves a great disservice when we withhold our point of view. Telling the truth truly is a loving act.

Can you overdo it? Sure. And you should never use this to dump your judgments, righteous opinions or harsh criticisms onto another person. That's not what I'm advocating at all.

I'm recommending that we tell the truth with compassion. I'm suggesting we have the courage to speak up and let the chips fall where they may. If we've done our best to tell the truth with compassion, if we've been honest, if we've been genuine, and if we've not let our emotions cloud our judgment, we'll have done our part. As long as we've done it absent of malice or ulterior motives, it should be well received.

From time to time it will not be received well. When it isn't, we should make every attempt to be sure we've told our truth as responsibly and as compassionately as possible. As I've often said, the truth will set you free, but first it may tick you off.

It's not often easy to tell the truth. But it IS the path to excellence. And it does get easier.

Action Point
What are your withholds? Where are you holding back? What's been left unsaid that stands in the way of open, honest, clear communication and relationship?

With whom do you need to get clear? What do you need to communicate in order to feel complete?

Author's Bio: 

Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet--a support network helping people and businesses grow and prosper since 1995. Get their free Resource Book ($27 value) of products, services and tools for running your business more effectively. And most of the over 150 resources are FREE to access and use.