November 2012: Engage in straight-talk.

November brings an election of the 45th U.S. President and the conclusion of a campaign season that tested the best of us. Nowhere is there a better example of the need for straight-talk than in the political arena, where we are forced to fact-check everything that comes out of a candidate’s mouth. 

In this environment of information overload, people crave truth and simplicity – especially from their leaders. Credibility – not spin - is the highest form of influence, and a key way to achieve credibility is to tell it straight. Being honest, forthright and authentic in your communication helps you earn the trust of your colleagues and audiences. And a little trust goes a long way.

Straight-talk means delivering the truth even when it’s bad news. It means admitting our mistakes. It demands us to talk about consequences in very realistic terms. Straight-talk means ditching the jargon and buzzwords and refusing to hide behind qualifiers and hedge words. It calls upon us to be courageous and speak our truth in terms that a high schooler can understand.

Today, give yourself a gut-check.  Are you telling it straight?