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WHY IT’S GOOD TO TELL IT STRAIGHT

What do you think of straight talkers?

It all depends, doesn’t it? Sometimes the more direct speakers among us can be seen as rude, sometimes non-engaging. However, you know where you stand and often what is expected, don’t you?

There are choices and often, in certain contexts, you find that group communication turns into games of Chinese Whispers, into underlying stress, procrastination, conversations happening between the ‘wrong’ people. In other words, a simple, straightforward communication is replaced by one of the above.

Who is that wrong person?

The wrong person is the person who is not directly involved in a situation but is the person who is invited into the conversation, a third party. Instead of choosing to talk to the real person involved, often we choose to talk to A.N.Other; we fall into the thinking traps of blame, jumping to conclusions, lack of responsibility, assumptions to name but a few. More often than not, a direct, honest, clean conversation with the ‘right’ person could so easily and quickly clear up any problems.

At work, in fact everywhere, especially when things are slightly ‘difficult’, an effective way to communicate is three things:

  • Kind

  • Clear

  • Quick

Once you state your perception and can give evidence for your beliefs, say what you need and want, you can then really ‘hear’ the other person and they can have a chance to give their side of the story. With this level of clarity, you can collaboratively work towards a resolution.

The added bonus of this type of communication in a company is that it can become the norm and this behaviour over time will form your culture; you can eradicate or even never have a culture gossip or Chinese Whispers. Instead, you have a culture of communication which is far more effective and productive …..and a lot less tiring.