Let Me Be Brutally Honest!

I think it’s safe to say, that one of the things I love most about coaching is the incredible access I get to insight. Today I was with a client and we were discussing clarity. Inevitably, when on the topic of clarity, the conversation steers to honesty, honesty with ourselves and honesty with others. Today’s conversation turned to “brutal honesty” when referring to a leader in my clients office. My client relayed, in near marvel, this person’s unbridled ability to be brutally honest, and that before he ever asked an opinion of this person, he needed to be prepared for “Brutal Honesty”.
Whether or not this “brutal honesty” added any clarity is not really the point, a point I pushed. “So this person gives you an opinion on all the things wrong with your idea, how it won’t work and really, how you need to put in check your deficiencies of thought and do it this way” I asked with some obvious sarcasm. “All in the name of honesty?”
But this is the way of brutal honesty isn’t it? The phrase “I’m going to be brutally honest with you?” typically knots the gut and prepares the mind for battle, or at last a defensive stand. Perhaps It’s the word “brutal” that has defined what is in reality, negative honesty. Don’t get me wrong, we all need truths that may be hard to accept, and sometimes that can be brutal to our hearts and egos, but I have a bit of an issue with those who proclaim, as a badge of honor, their consistent brutal honesty. I’m left to wonder when the last time they were brutally honest about something with a positive outcome. “Let me be brutally honest with you Bob; that is the best Idea I’ve ever heard!” probably never comes to their ever searching for what’s wrong mind.
So here is a thought and a practice for the day… Can we be “brutally honest” about something good? What kind of surprise would you get from your spouse or partner if, when you get home tonight, you said “honey, I need to be brutally honest with you about the way you treat me…the way you make me feel, connected and like a true partner in your life. This is the single most powerful thing in my world, it makes me smile every time I think of it.” “Just wanted to be real with you.” Or try being brutally honest with a client, a co-worker or someone who looks up to you. “I need to be brutally honest with you Amy, the work you do and the attitude you bring to this organization make this a better place to be, it’s awesome being on the same team with you!”
Go practice some brutal honesty, you might just find some brutal appreciation. Which, frankly, the world could use.

Author rpalmer406Posted on January 18, 2018January 18, 2018

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