Wouldn’t it be great if you could speak your opinion freely and openly? If there were a simple way to say even the most difficult messages without creating a big upset?
Here it is: Just make sure that what you say is True, Useful, and Respectful.
True means that you are being forthright and sincere. The opposite of True is often not False, but rather hidden, obscured, or diluted so your meaning is lost. If it’s not true, you will feel like a fake, and besides, what’s the point of saying it?
Useful means that your words will help to build a better future. You are not blaming or complaining about the past, but rather seeking to create something more valuable or satisfying than whatever existed before. “Being right” is not nearly so important as making sure that things “go right” as you move forward.
Respectful means that you honor the dignity of yourself and everyone else. You are speaking to learn and improve, not to prove yourself or make others wrong. Your intent is to contribute without blame or shame, and you speak with honor for all.
There is always a way to provide feedback or ideas in a way that is True, Useful and Respectful. It’s your job to find it, then use it well.
This approach works well in a business setting and especially when delivering your ideas. In my line of work, teaching men to be better husbands, I tell them to be FIRM, LOVING, and Respectful. Some men are so scared of their wives that they are afraid of speaking their mind. Crazy right?