Straight Talk

It seems that very few people really come out with it and tell it like it is these days. Even me (i.e. "It seems...")!

We need much more of that! I need to do much more of that.

Of course it's a matter of striking a balance...but I think things are out of balance.

People are so politically correct. They say things in public that they would not say in person...and vice versa. Who are we, anyway? So many have multiple personas!

I have always loved listening to folks that provided straight talk. Recall a time when someone started speaking and you thought, "Yeah, he's right. He's saying what I was actually thinking."

The problem is that without employing straight talk ourselves, we pull the shades down over our own eyes! We become blind to reality and just cannot see straight anymore...until some else comes along and talks straight to us...and then we wake up!

Project management requires a lot of straight talk. Construction projects, in my opinion, are ground level! The rubber meets the road here, as costs, communication, and action have so much impact on the outcome of the project. Straight talk is critical. The one who can't talk straight most often loses, on way or another.

Here are just a few benefits that come to mind of trying hard to become a better straight talker:

  1. You become more of a leader. When you say the way it is, people respect you, look up to you, and are more willing to follow you.
  2. People know where they stand with you. This reduces misunderstandings and the costs and stress that they can produce.
  3. Things move ahead. Only through dealing with reality can issues get resolved and the job get done.
  4. People around you think with more clarity. Your straight talk will produce more clarity all around you, personal and group performance will improve, and people will be happier.
  5. You'll focus on the right things. In 80:20 thinking, straight talk separates the wheat from the chaff...and helps identify the 20% of things where you and your team should place 80% of their effort.

People need to be tough. We need to be honest. We need to trust - and to be trusted.

And we need to be true to ourselves.

How can we do that if we are not straight talkers?

How can we talk straight with others if we cannot talk straight to ourselves? And how can we talk straight to ourselves if we cannot talk straight to others?

This idea of straight talk applies in our personal lives as well as our careers, but this post was inspired by an article about our careers. Specifically Jack Welch, along with his wife Suzie Welch, talked about it in their article "Getting This Wrong Could Kill Your Career" on linkedin.

I love Jack Welch's straight talk and have always admired him for this. Have a look!

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