Telling the Truth: Not for Wimps

Summary: Why is telling the truth so darn hard? Why is it even worse to speak truth to power? It’s about the words and especially about the timing. Here are some ways to make truth-telling more effective.

So much information, so much confusion.

Who do you believe? 

Which media outlets are pushing out fake news and which are telling the honest, open truth?

Anyone?

No one?

Telling the Truth: Not for Wimps.

If you missed out on being part of past revolutions, now is your chance. Couldn’t attend the revolution of 1776? Not part of the 1960’s peace and love demonstrations? Now is your chance to be part of a revolution that is underway right now.

It’s about something that can be terrifying. 

It causes excessive amounts of stress.

It’s about telling the truth, and especially, telling the truth to power.

Leaders today are under so much scrutiny, and that’s a good thing. There has always been the “backroom truth” and the “public truth.”

Truth is coming into the public domain thanks to social media.

Telling the Truth, especially truth to power, is good for business.

The organizations I have worked with that have truth as a core value have been successful. Because telling the truth is good for business.

It increases trust, and trust raises collaboration and enhances creativity.

Now, every revolution needs a bumper sticker. Remember “No taxation without representation” or “Make love, not war”?

How bout now? “The truth shall set you free.”

We all want honest people in Congress, in our corporations, family businesses, start-up companies. 

At the core of who we are, I believe we all want someone to tell the truth. This honesty matters more than feeling set up and scammed.

Let’s see truth-telling become the way we work. Please underline, especially truth to power.

Let’s see leaders step it up and model truth-telling and requiring the truth from those who report to them.

No more denying or ignoring, no more playing CYA to avoid being held accountable. Being honest is at the tipping point of gaining respect once again.

Diversity and telling truth to power

In her Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Team of Rivals,” Doris Kearns Goodwin underlines how talking truth to power created extreme tension. This balance point between despair and conviction helped accentuate truth and encourage trust.

Here’s what happens during times of revolution and times of accelerated evolution. The highlights are on the extremes. In other words, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful all shine brighter.

That time is now.

Here’s some good news. YOU can develop skills to deliver difficult feedback. Then you can manage resistance to change, orchestrate conflict resolution, and keep stress levels from going through the roof.

More good news. You do not have to be a charismatic orator for the truth to be heard and accepted. 

More good news. When you tell the truth, especially truth to power, you have less to remember.

Pioneers on the Road to Truth 

Are you ready to be a pioneer to demand truth at work and in the community? Are you prepared to stand for calling out brutality from those who want to polarize the world?

If you get concerned about what happens when you tell the truth, think like the child in the tale The Emperor’s New Clothes.

During the time of the Emperor’s reign, vanity and greed were rampant. That made it possible for clever con men to make a financial bundle.

The Emperor, a shallow and self-absorbed narcissist, was convinced that only the “pure of heart” would be able to see his new royal garb. Brilliant ‘spin doctors,’ the clothes were spun of ‘fools cloth,’ as with no actual product is excellent marketing. And then the ‘piece de resistance, a viral PR campaign that hypnotized the whole town into an agreement. After all, wouldn’t you want to be in the ‘pure of heart’ camp? So, when the Emperor rode into town ‘al fresco,’ it took an innocent little kid to shout “BUT THE EMPEROR  IS NAKED”!

That innocence to speak out and tell the truth to power is often drummed out of us early in life.

It’s time for that to change.

Telling the Truth is Riveting

So, like the Emperor’s town folk, is it safer to pretend, to not see? Say the words ‘not see’ over a few times, say them quickly, and notice you are saying Nazi!”

When we play it safe, it causes us to lose our magic. That is to say, our zest for courageously questioning the status quo or situations that lack a clear focus dims.

Telling the truth is NOT for wimps. 

We see a global groundswell for change. In other words, the desire for the truth to see what should be obvious. That we are all part of the human race, and no one wins unless we all do.

Join the movement by telling the truth, especially truth to power, and the reconciliation needed in our world.

To your success,

Sylvia

PS. Want to learn why there is so much fear around this issue of telling the truth? Read my award-winning book “Don’t Bring It To Work” for great communication methods to tell the truth. Especially “PEP Talk” (Pattern Encounter Process) pages 157 to 167. It will give you great insights.

Sylvia Lafair

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