WE'RE AFRAID TO BE HONEST. Ill admit
it, I am too. And we should be afraid of it. Honesty can
cause conflict uncomfortable, gut-wrenching, upsetting
confrontations with people. We hate those and try to avoid them.
One of the main reasons we try to avoid conflict is because were
not very good at it. And because we avoid it, we never have
a chance to become good at it.
Luckily, many people have gone before you.
Some of them have risked honesty and gotten good at the conflict
it can create, and some of them have even written down what theyve
It seems that there are some basic rules
you can follow, and with a little practice, you can learn
to deal with conflict in a way that helps other people and yourself
at the same time. Here are the two main rules to follow when
you find yourself in conflict with someone:
Interruptions block the flow of communication and prevent progress.
Sometimes an interruption jars or upsets the speaker. Give people
your attention. Let them finish. Do your best to understand what
theyre saying. You dont have to agree with what theyre
saying, but try to understand it from their point of viewtry
to understand why they think that way. And let them know
Speak only whats strictly true.
This sounds a lot easier than it
is. Try it. Try going a day only saying what you know is true.
Im not talking about philosophical, airy-fairy stuff, either;
I dont mean getting into a debate about whether or not
your chair really exists. I mean, in a practical sense, see if
you can go a whole day only saying what you know is true. Its
tougher than youd think, so dont treat this one lightly.
During conflict, concentrate on saying only what you know is
IMPOSE THESE TWO disciplines on yourself.
You will be able to be more honest and youll have more
control over your life. This is no small accomplishment. Honesty
sounds kind of corny, but more honesty means more freedom and
more personal strength. And no lasting peace can settle in your
heart without it.
Be honest. If it causes conflict,
and only say what is strictly true.