Speak Straight, Respectfully | Fundamental #3

As business consultants who deliver training in high performance culture, we continually get feedback from individuals saying they appreciate receiving straight, unfiltered feedback.

Conversely, we find that the same people are rarely thrilled to deliver said straight feedback. Admittedly, my personal default is to “soften the blow”, so I understand the challenging nature of this week’s fundamental.

Here’s another thing I notice. None of these 26 fundamentals of ours is designed to survive and thrive on its own. Each one depends on the others to create a network of safety, communication and collaboration. This one especially relies on the others for a foundation of trust within an organization.

It makes sense.

If you trust me to give up the need to be rightassume positive intent, or practice blameless problem solving, I will naturally have more freedom to speak straight with you because we are operating within a culture of trust.

All the fundamentals together are ingredients in building that foundation.

What I’ve come to notice is that when I commit to Speak Straight, Respectfully (and I practice that), it starts to reinforce the very culture of trust it requires. My colleagues and my clients both expect that from me, and it would just be plain weird if I behaved otherwise.

Let’s not forget one key part of this fundamental, the “Respectfully” part. This is critical in that speaking straight is never an excuse to unload a laundry list of complaints and emotional malarkey on to someone.

It must be delivered with respect and responsibility in a way that informs and contributes to the person and the relationship. 

Rule of Thumb: If the straight talk you want to deliver fails to contribute, talk to your coach on how to proceed.

Where do you find that Speaking Straight, Respectfully is most essential? I’d love to hear from you. Comment below to share!



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