Leadership Tip: Talk Straight


When was the last time you technically told the truth, but left a misleading impression?


Not every culture values straight talk. As a leader, it’s your judgment to understand your latitude. Straight talk can be delivered in respectful and honorable ways without ever diminishing someone’s reputation. The opposite of straight talk includes posturing, positioning, spinning, or technically telling the truth but leaving the wrong impression. Our ability to talk straight comes down to using clear, accurate, and simple language to ensure that what is said is what is heard and, perhaps most important, what is being heard is being understood.


Leaders who talk straight:


- Call things by their right names using common, plain language.
- Don’t spin or position for the sake of posturing.
- Tell the truth in diplomatic yet clear language.
- Don’t try to sound more intelligent than they are.


Leaders who talk straight leave their listeners clear about the intended message because there was nothing added to distract or confuse. No extra slides. No long effusive speeches. No multisyllable words to impress or intimidate. They don’t leave room for misinterpretation or guessing. They stay as far from spin as possible.


Previous Article
Blog: Fostering A Collaborative Sales And Marketing Relationship Leads To Big Wins
Blog: Fostering A Collaborative Sales And Marketing Relationship Leads To Big Wins

This is the time of year when sales and marketing teams meet to discuss annual goals, and it can seem their planning was done in completely separate caves. Predictably, when things go wrong they are ready to destroy one another like the cave people in the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Next Article
Leadership Tip:
Confront Bad Behavior
Leadership Tip: Confront Bad Behavior

Difficult behaviors often work for people because the behaviors catch us off guard and we freeze (e.g., your brain starts racing and you think, Did she really just say that?) and/or we get so uncomfortable that we do whatever it takes to end the interaction.

Introducing Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers