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Talking Straight: The #1Behaviour Of Hight Trust People!

Truth-be-told, only 40 per cent of employees believe that their bosses communicate honestly according to a Mercer Management Consulting study, 2005. In 2021, I feel only 10% believe that their bosses talk-straight.

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In today’s world most people in their personal and professional dimensions can think of several situations everyday where they have felt like others were beating around the bush and indulging in double-talking, pussy-footing, soft-pedalling, diplomacy (The words they use to cover-up their blatant lies, half-truths, falsehoods, glib-talk and spin-doctoring), obfuscating tergiversation and strange circumlocution about facts, truths, viewpoints, intentions, ideas, opinions or agendas.  While distorting facts and omitting information may sound legally/technically correct, this practice will lead to wrong impressions, and will NEVER INSPIRE TRUST.  While not being outright deceptive, certain communication styles, such as spinning, posturing, positioning, duplicity, flattery, sweet-talk, politically-correct language and mincing words, may serve to manipulate others but will significantly diminish trust

Truth-be-told, only 40 percent of employees believe that their bosses communicate honestly according to a Mercer Management Consulting study, 2005. In 2021, I feel only 10% believe that their bosses talk-straight.

In a day and age where people (no matter how high in the hierarchy or social strata they may be… they may be CEOs/CXOs, Working-Executives, Professionals, Billionaires, Entrepreneurs, Movie/Sports Celebrities, Journalists, Educators,  Politicians-in-Power including elected Heads of Nations) who are insecure, immature and lack commonsense, are intimidated by people who are secure, mature and demonstrate commonsense, where people who lack self-esteem/self-confidence feel threatened by people with great self-esteem/self-confidence and where passive duplicitous, hypocritical people feel exposed by assertive, honest, truthful people, TALKING-STRAIGHT is a behaviour that is difficult to practice and notice. 

People who are not used to Talking-Straight, feel that straight-talk and plain-speak is rude and harsh!  In reality, Straight Talk is the # 1 behaviour and trait of High Trust People. Talking Straight is absolutely refreshing and heart-warming in a world that is full of jiggery-poggery, hypocrisy, duplicity, apathy and fakery. It is in fact liberating and inspiring and makes people trustworthy. Remember the truth will set you free and liberate you. 

However, many people become uncomfortable and defensive when people talk straight to them. (0 5 of the time they feel uncomfortable and defensive is because it exposes their own core and lack of character and integrity to talk straight. They are so used to their versions of spinning, sweet-talking, duplicity, pussyfooting, diplomacy and all those words they use to cover up their lack of integrity/credibility to talk straight, that they just cannot accept it when they meet someone who talks straight. 

Many ask me in my Leadership with Trust talks/workshops if Talking Straight would not be detrimental for their career growth and job security. My answer well your boss and colleagues know exactly who you and what you do in one place is noticed by others in another place. So, when you spin and pussyfoot, they know that you are not trustworthy. 

I simply ask them do you trust all those political spokespeople or Newsreaders who lie to cover up all the wrongs done by their political masters. No right? So, if you don’t trust them, do you think others would trust you when they see you soft-pedalling and sweet-talking. 

Research shows that Talking-straight is the #1 behaviour of high trust leaders. Be honest. Tell the truth. Speak straight. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don’t manipulate people or distort facts. Don’t spin the truth. Don’t leave false impressions.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Jerry is a management & OD consultant, celebrated inspirational orator, teacher, UN advisor, internationally certified leadership subject matter expert, trainer, Executive coach and an effective, innovative fundraiser and missionary entrepreneur

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