I've always been the type of person who worries about what other people think. It's never been easy for me to be the bearer of bad news. This is why I wasn't the kind of team leader I was expected to be in college. When it came down to it, I struggled to call people out on their faults, even if it helped the team. The same is true now. Rather than tell people the truth if I know it will hurt them, I tend to mold it into something that sounds better, but doesn't really get the point across.
However, I can honestly say that while being this way has earned me a certain type of respect and loyalty from some people, it has deemed me a pushover to others. People know I have a soft heart. I'm soft spoken and I avoid drama at all costs.
If it came down to getting into a first fight my worst enemy, I would back out, simply because I can't see what good could come from it. But, here are five reasons why I've learned being honest is the best way to communicate to people:
1. In situations when you're asked for your opinion, be openly honest.
Don't sugarcoat your answer to make whoever you're talking to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The thing is, whether they want to hear the truth or not, they asked you for a reason. So tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.
2. Always be honest in your relationships.
While it may seem like you're protecting your significant other at the time, you're only damaging him or her in the long run. You're giving your SO false reasoning and hope, and he or she will be living in an entirely different relationship than you are. Tell the person you're with how you feel.
If you're truly unhappy, don't wait until the tug of war rope has been pulled on for so long that it's down to a mere thread. It isn't worth the pain you'll cause down the road. Because, while you've been in check with your feelings and over it for quite some time, chances are he or she probably hasn't. This means when you do finally break up, your SO will just be beginning the grieving process while yours has long come and gone.
3. If you're a captain, act like one.
Speak up when people on your team act out. Call out the teammate who's been bitchy and lazy all week. For crying out loud, you should all be on the same routine by now. Even though you want nothing more than to curl up in your bed with a heating pad resting over your ovaries, you know that practice is still another hour long and you have to get through it.
Tell her to get over it, just like the rest of you are. Lead by example, so when it comes time to tell people they're doing something wrong, you can respectfully say so because you're doing things right.
4. When you're in charge, make it clear.
It's easy to make nice and act friendly to the people who work for you, but you're only screwing yourself over by doing so. Think about it like this: When the game is on the line, how closely are they going to listen to your commands if you haven't been calling the shots all year long? Teach discipline. Make them uphold to that discipline. Don't let them walk all over you.
While compliments are nice to hear, it's important for us to hear the truth, too. Even though it can be hard to admit and accept, we all need to be called out on our faults at times. Likewise, sometimes we have to be the person who does the calling. Being honest — however blatant it may be — is ultimately the best thing for people in the long run.