Today, is about telling the truth without spilling your guts. So, let me tell you how this came about even that sentence I used to teach way back in the day telling the truth makes sense. We’re better when we tell the truths. We have less to remember. We have more credibility and we can sleep at night. Sounds good to me. So, I was at a meeting, facilitating a meeting with a group and a newly minted leader of the group and they were doing best practices and one of the things that happened was, somebody said, “Well, I have an idea.” And he said, “Whatever his idea was…” and this newly minted woman, who was in charge, who had been through some of my trainings said to him, “I don’t agree with you. I really think what you said is kind of stupid and furthermore, you know your ideas always seem to create more havoc than they do positive things to happen.”
Well, what do you think happened? The room got super silent and people literally started to slide under the conference table that we were sitting at, thinking I’m not going to open my mouth and say a word, and so, I did what is very clever for any facilitator out there or any leader. I said, “Why don’t we just take a quick break. We did, and I took this gal Diana, and I said, “Would you come in this other room with me?” And we walked in a room, and I closed the door and I said, “What were you thinking?” And she looked at me. Kind of like wide-eyed and she said, “But Sylvia, you teach to tell the truth.” And all of a sudden I took a deep breath and I thought at the end of that sentence has to be taught every time from here on, and that’s not about spilling your guts. Telling the truth is such a disciplined art form.
Truth sentences are short. They come from here, and here you have to connect them. You tell the truth from here. You get anger. You tell the truth from here. Without this and you get mush. They’re not strong enough. So, it’s the connection of heart and mind in telling the truth.
So, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about this, and one of them is, which words matter most. So, I’m going to give you what I think makes the biggest difference, and that is when you’re telling someone the truth, and you have finished your short sentence. It’s not a run-on sentence. It’s not a paragraph. I was really upset when that happened and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. That’s a short sentence.
The next one, the next words are the key ones, and now I’d like to hear from you because unless you create the dialogue, unless you create the connection, the truth will go the way it did. When we were little kids, and got yelled at, and we went and hid in a corner or wet now bedroom are walked outside, and thought, they don’t really know me. Most of us did that as kids.
So, here we go.
Telling the truth is not spilling your guts after you said it. You respond with, and now I’d like to hear from you, and the next one is, why is less always better than more, because once you begin to tell the truth, and you start to go on and on. What happens is, you lose the thread of the core of what you really wanted to say.
I’m going to give you an example. I’m working with a family business and two brothers who are arguing all the time, and one of them finally went to the other, and said,”Can we have some coffee? Can we just talk?” And he actually brought two containers of really good Starbucks coffee, and they sat down and the other brother surprised said, “Thanks for the coffee.” It was called a pattern interrupt. They didn’t do that very often, and the first brother said, “I really don’t know you very well, and we’re related and it makes me sad.” Those words had never been uttered from his mouth before. “I don’t know you very well.”
So, that’s all he said and he said. I wonder these are good words, wandering, curious are really good words to use. Also, when you’re talking about truth-telling, I wonder what your thoughts are about that. How do you feel about how we relate as brothers. The other brother looked at him and said, “Well, that’s never been said before.” And the first brother said, “I know, that’s why I said it.” And then he said those magic words, and now I’d like to hear from you.
The third is, how to find a best way to collaborate. Here’s another good sentence for truth-telling.
Now, it has to be this connection or at mind. Remember that, mind without heart is cruel and heart without mind is weak. It’s the combination that makes the difference, and the third is, it means a lot to me.
These are very simple sentences, but man, I’ll tell you or lady or woman or whoever they go in to the other person, and as we’re talking, and the truth is coming out, and you say, it means a lot to me. Finish the sentence. It means a lot to me that you’re sitting here and not leaving in anger. It means a lot to me that we’re finally getting a chance to talk. It means a lot to me.
So, that’s it for the today, and as we look around the world, right now, we are starving for truth. We’re starving for what’s real, we’re starving for integrity.
I’m waiting for Tom Hanks and Mr. Rodgers to show up around Christmas time, because I think that’s going to make a difference for us.
So, practice telling the truth without spilling your guts and have a beautiful rest of the day, and thank you for your time, and listening to this and watching it.
Thank you so much.