Today, we’re going to talk about a subject that most of us hate.
Talking truth to power and you say, “What’s the big deal?” It’s just words coming out of your mouth, going into somebody else’s ear and brain, and then they say, “Words coming back at you.”
Well, it’s about security survival. It’s what if I say it and I screw it up. What if I get fired? What if somebody discounts me? What if? What if? What if?
So, where does all this start? And I’m going to give you just one big tip about truth to power before we finish. So, pay attention when we talk truth to power.
Two things happen: we’re in the present time but we’re also back with memories from when we were kids. So, think about it for a minute. Did you talk truth to your mother or father or whoever was your caretaker and get sent to your room or get a whack on the side of your head? Did you tell a teacher something and be sent to the principal or get a detention? Did you talk to one of the real popular kids at school who was bullying or being nasty to somebody and all of a sudden, you looked around and you didn’t have any friends? They were all over there and you were alone, isolated?
The fear of telling truth to power gets us every time and if you don’t do it, and you stuff it, I can tell you that there will be ramifications down the road.
So, let’s talk about, what about truth to power really matters in all the years with all the people I’ve worked with. I found one thing, truth sentences are short. There are seven, nine, maybe twelve words. They’re not run-on sentences and they’re not paragraphs. Usually, it’s maybe four short sentences. So, when Sally wanted a promotion, it was so interesting. She said, “Sylvia, I’m scared because I don’t want to move to the city to where corporate was, but I want the job.” I said,”So, tell the truth.” She said, “No, no. They’ll see I’m weak. They’ll see I’m not a team player. I won’t get any promotions. I’ll be stuck.” I said, “Well, maybe you’ll just be stuck if you don’t say anything.”
So, on the day that the time was for her to tell her truth to power, she had her VP and the CEO in the room, and what happened was, she finally said, “Look, I really want this job and I have worked it out in my mind, so that I can stay in my home where I am with my family and let my kids finish school and my husband has a good job there, but I’ll come into the city whenever it’s necessary, and I promise you, if it doesn’t work within three months, we’ll have another talk, and I’ll consider the move. We’ve talked about it at home. We’re willing to do it.” And the CEO looked at her and said, “Okay.” And she went and furthermore and he looked at her. He said, “I said okay.” She was so intent on not being her that she couldn’t hear him initially.
Well, anyway she got the job and things were wonderful and as we kind of peeled back after the session, what worked, she said, “Your four sentence formula worked. So, via short sentences, truth sentences, seven to nine words. “I really want this job, I promise I will make it work. It will make a difference to my family and I think this may be a model for the whole company in the future.”
Guess what? It ended up being that way. Now, not all truth to power talk comes out that successfully, but you still have to take the risk. Take the risk. It’s your life. It’s the one that you have to make it go where you want.
In all the work we’ve done, we look back to see where we got stuck, where we froze with truth to power as kids and how we can reframe it, rearrange our brain to think about it differently, and to make a difference for ourselves and for those around us. So, go for it, TRUTH to POWER. It’s the way that things will make a difference.
Thanks so much. This is to your success of a great day.