Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Before I really figured out how to gauge what a colleague or even a friend really meant when they wanted my opinion, I lost many and ruffled the feathers of several others. When a person asks for your honesty, do they really want it? What are they really asking you? If you're a “straight shooter” who really values honesty and sincerity, how do you navigate the two “S’s” Sincerity and Sensitivity. For me, it took years of disasters to figure it out, and I still occasionally blow it as discussed in Forgiving Others and Forgiving Ourselves.
There are many layers to sincerity somewhat like a cake, but they all require integrity and trustworthiness. Much of what you say depends on your relationship. The bare minimum is genuineness, and the expectation is that if you see disaster approaching you are going to exert a good-faith effort to stave it off. As your relationship deepens, the depth of your wholehearted honesty should too. However, regardless of your relationship parameters sensitivity must always be applied.
This is the true art of being a sincere person who knows how to navigate these treacherous waters. I often like to refer to this as going through the back door. Sometimes it requires you to compliment another idea, or fact first. Other times it requires that you try to lead a person to the truth through questions, or scenarios that could result if the current path is continued.
What is always required is a sensitivity that protects your colleague or friends’ pride.
This requires you to share your candor in private, on occasion. Do not fret if you feel that there is more to be said, and you just are not sure. If you’re known for your authenticity; they’ll come back for more!
Blog post written by Wellness Contributor Dawn Rayburn, EDS, NBCT, LPC for Embrace Candles