Friday, August 01, 2008

A quote I love... from a SALES e-book?

For my job, I subscribe to a great blog called Selling to BIG Companies. The author, Jill Konrath not only provides short and easily digestible snippets of sales insight, but posts a litany of free and pay-for-play resources to help sales professionals.

One of the resources she posted for July, was an intriguingly titled free e-book called "Tell the Whole Truth". As a certified fan of truth over lies (my mother always said she would rather have the ugly truth than a pretty lie) I was compelled to download it. Also, in facing a pretty aggressive competitor in our business, I'm often faced with the decision of whether to sugar-coat our company's weaknesses or, somehow, deliver the truth in such a way that it wins me points. Obviously, the latter is where I would rather be, so this particular post pushed a current hot-button of mine.

I haven't read the entire e-book yet (much of it so far seems written for the person who needs convincing that the truth needs to be told - not me!) but I did skim and see a quote that I instantly wanted to write down:

"...the next time you lie to “save another’s feelings” do not confuse this with being kind.
It is selfish. It is avoiding the time and effort to search for the whole truth. It is saving you from discomfort. Skillful sharing of your true feelings and beliefs shows the kindness upon which longterm relationships grow."

Now, I admit readily that the "skillful sharing" of my true feelings has not always been my forte. True, I have got better over the years but, by nature, I'm still pretty raw in my delivery - truth from TravelVixen is often not for the feint of heart! And, I also admit, that I have been resistent to coaching or advice, primarily because I have believed (sometimes without true cause) that any attempt to 'work-on' delivery was merely a thinly veiled attempt at avoidance or a personal act of cowardice.

Yet, this quote just hit it on the head for me and serves up, in a nicely succinct way, exactly why I am a big proponent of being honest with people and why I get so frustrated with people who hold in what they're really feeling in a relationship (any relationship - personal or professional) in order to 'save someone's feelings'. Of course, there are times for discretion and appropriateness, and life has certainly taught me this.

Life has also taught me through experience (my own and in watching others I care about) that being honest is an act of bravery and selflessnes, in caring more about doing the right thing for the other person and/or the relationship, than your own vulnerability or the discomfort of a confrontation. Conversely, those people who avoid telling the truth and claim to be doing so for someone else, are most often doing so from a place of fear and selfishness. (I'm not saying you are selfish if this describes you, but that the act is selfish - we all perform different kinds of selfish acts from time-to-time. Heck, we're human and its part of the survival instinct.)

As Hubby was leaving the house this morning I read him the quote and told him that I think it epitomized one of the wonderful things about our relationship. Since meeting me, Hubby (often one for 'saving another's feelings') has definitely become more adept at checking his reasons for holding back and has become more cognizant of the benefits of, instead, telling 'the truth', even if it isn't always the most comfortable place for him. Yet, he has also taught me a lot about how to deliver the truth with compassion and without blame or finger-pointing. Just one of the many reasons we're the perfect match.

So, there you have it: a great quote on truth and a validation on marriage, from a SALES e-book!


e said...

I'm with you on telling the truth, and I too am someone who is constantly working on being truthful while being mindful of the impact on other people. It's uncomfortable a lot of the time, but it always works better than sugarcoating, hiding, lying, omitting, etc. It's also always important to think about whether I'm being truthful or just dumping. Sometimes people are nasty and then hide behind that "I'm just being honest" bullshit. There is a distinction between being truthful and being an asshole for whatever reason.

But I'd rather take the "honest asshole" over the passive aggressive liar any day. At least with the asshole, I know what I'm dealing with.

And this, by the way, is one of the reasons why we've been friends for so long -- we both know what it costs us more to not say what there is to say.

TravelVixen said...

e, I completely agree about taking an honest asshole over a passive aggressive one. It's impossible to know how to deal with someone who lies and hides their true feelings or motivations. I have no problem with a confrontation, or even a knock-down argument on issues or feelings, what I can't stand is someone who won't honestly engage with me with whatever is bothering them (or me).

I agree... this is why we're members of each other's fan club!

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