We all know that “mind reading” doesn’t work. Life is hard enough as it is, so it’s silly to take on the additional burden of having to decipher one another’s emotions and actions to pick up clues on an unspoken tension. Mind reading doesn’t work in personal relationships, and it doesn’t work with professional relationships either.
Good communication requires honesty. Without honesty, we’re saying everything but the truth. Careful and cowardly chatter.
It takes courage to tell the truth, but it takes more courage to listen when someone tells you the truth, however unpleasant. So don’t assume that you are awesome when you speak your mind–any hot head can do this. You’re only halfway there.
It’s only fair when you learn to be a patient listener, someone willing to take on criticism. If you speak truth, you must also listen to truth.
Also, don’t be mean when you speak. When you wrap truth with hostility, it says more about you than the person to whom you are speaking. Your hostility shows your insecurity and lack of self control.
One last thought here. When truth is the norm in your workplace, magical things happen. Here at smithHOUSE, I share this with anyone new to the team: “I will never expect you to read my mind. I show respect for you by telling you the truth. I expect you to show respect for me by being honest with me too.”
We save so much time, heartache, and frustration. I like to think it makes us a better, more competitive agency too.