Why is it so hard to tell the truth sometimes?

Hard to tell the truth

Hard to tell the truth

Who isn’t telling the Truth?

CBC News reported a few days ago that Toshiba’s CEO and eight other executives were resigning as a demonstration of taking responsibility for systemic avoidance of telling the truth at Toshiba.

The article goes on to say, “There was intense pressure to produce results, so employees felt cornered into resorting to inappropriate measures.”

We just cannot achieve superior performance, individually or in teams, unless we are actively being Authentic and Truthful.  The truth is the mother of trust. Caring and consistency are her sisters.

A definition for Truthfulness:
Being truthful in thoughts, words, and actions while Acknowledging Universal Truths and expressing from full awareness in mind and body”

A universal truth: Followers yearn for leaders who are real.  Leaders who tell the truth consistently.

Self-leadership is about recognizing these moments of universal truth and being authentic and vulnerable enough to tell the truth even in the face of possible criticism or an onslaught of feelings.

The skills to manage criticisms and overwhelming feelings are ones that can be developed by the personal leader. It’s all possible with an appropriate personal leadership development plan that embraces more authenticity.

A key reason we’re not fully authentic is that we’re not courageous enough. Courage enables us to be Authentic – we cannot be Authentic until we first have the Courage to be so.

When we’re Authentic, we’re aligned: the mind the voice, the heart and the feet all say the same thing. There is no second-guessing ourselves, and no desire to paint things in a certain way.  Truth then becomes a by-product of Authenticity.

We all yearn to find leaders who are authentic.  The truth just like authenticity is palpable.  People can see it from a mile away when you’re incongruent. They may not know what to do with it, but they sense it.

As a personal leader, you might also be watching how the some people are responding to Donald Trump as he pursues the US presidency.   Every day this past week, I’ve heard things such as how refreshing it is for a politician to be “telling it how it is”.

I  point out the difference between speaking an interpretation and speaking a Truth.  It is sad how frequently we all take someone’s opinion and judgments as “Truth” instead of a mixture of interpretations.

The truth is what it is and may not always be kind, but it shouldn’t wound either. The truth just is, does not have any energy behind it on its own. It’s the interpretations that we’d lay down beside the fact that makes truth-telling hard for some. (to say and to listen to)

Famous truthfulness quotes by Winston Churchill that say things like: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is“.

So, as you can see lot’s of conversations in the media right now about truth-telling.   How about you?

how to tell the truth

You might say it’s not hard to tell the truth.  Here is a little challenge, take this simple self- discovery quiz, answering with a simple true or false answer.

  • I always tell the truth
  • I have never taken anything that was not mine
  • I am never intimidated
  • I am always the best at whatever I do
  • I like everyone I know
  • I never fool myself

Did you notice any gray areas?  Any places where you wanted to say almost always?  Any places where you have a complete fail?       I know personally being extremely optimistic, I don’t always tell myself the truth.

Truth telling is not always easy, and we all can be vulnerable to stretching the truth. A great 1 step is to take full responsibility and be authentic in what you say (and don’t say). You can also build some of the following into your own personal leadership development plan.

Ways to Make Truth-telling easier

Here are some ways to make it easier to tell the truth:

  • Create an environment where it’s safe to tell the truth. Make a pact with others around you that there is an agreement to speak the truth.
  • Agree that there will be no recriminations or punishment for truth telling.
  • Make a commitment to speak the truth in a helpful and positive way. Avoid wounding with the truth.
  • As you tell the truth make clear distinctions between what you observe and what you think about what you see. Recognize the possible impact of your interpretation before you speak.

Here is a good truth question for yourself as an easy first step:

  • As a self-management practice, practice daily telling the truth when someone asks, “How are you?”.   Instead of just answering, “fine” as a default – stop, go inside and see what is  the state of affairs.  (then share THAT).  Then expand to other contexts.

 

 

Personal Leadership Tip 4 – Be Authentic

Se;f-leadership tipsBe Authentic.

Authenticity is your ability to be in connection with your true essence and then act in alignment from that place of peace.   It is having your intentions and your actions, your words, your deeds all working in concert with each other.   It is a mind, body and spirit alliance.

Any exercise that brings out more of who you are at the essence will help you expand your capacity for authenticity.

Here is a basic exercise:

Share your thoughts, feelings and anything that is behind your eyes.  Let down the boundaries of your face and heart. Let them fall a little – and share your experience.

It’s a move of vulnerability.    Let go of the need to be a woman of mystery – and embrace the woman you are at an essence.

People crave being in a relationship with authentic people.   They crave the intimacy that comes as a result of the shared vulnerability that comes from being authentic. It does take courage to let down your walls a little. Try to begin this practice in relationships where you already feel safe. This is what it takes to live an authentic life.

See if you can notice how much richer your relationships become.

When you are living an authentic life, you live a courageous life as well.  They go hand-in-hand.

It takes small acts of courage to be authentic – because you love on the highest level, and you tell the truth.  You might say these two things have negative consequences. That will be true if you happen to be in a place of fear for feeling separate.  If you live from a place of wholeness – you can be your most authentic.

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Tiny Tips in self-leadership personal leadership development are personal leadership principles – 1 bite-sized concept at a time.