Say What You Think/Mean

Chris and Stewart follow up last week's conversation with Blair Enns with a discussion about one of the rules of "Blair-topia" - Say What You Mean.

If you missed the last episode with Blair, be sure to listen to that one first.

For someone like Stewart who grew up in the South, his upbringing called for hospitality, charm, and a kind, welcoming attitude. If there was nothing nice to say about someone, he wouldn’t say anything at all. But this new mantra of “say what you mean” is a bit of a head-scratcher for Stewart. What does it mean to say what you mean? How do you stay kind when being more open with your thoughts, opinions, and feelings?

The ability to remain honest in any relationship—be it personal or professional—is extremely important. It’s easy to give your honest take on something when you’re speaking about something positive. When it’s negative, though, we’re often reluctant to say what’s really on our minds. Of course, this is normal; we never want to offend anyone or come across as such.

In a workplace environment, honest opinions and feedback are what help to move things forward. If a Creative Director doesn’t think the designer’s work will help meet client X’s goals, then the CD needs to speak up. It’s nothing personal, and it definitely isn’t a tactic to bring a colleague down. It’s simply someone speaking their truth.

Have you ever taken something someone said personally? If you find yourself on the listening end of the honesty, one way to refrain from making it personal is to listen with an objective set of ears. What is it that the person is saying? What do they want? Having a conversation stripped of emotion allows you and the other person to speak clearly with each other, without tensions ever rising.