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Practice Radical Transparency

Do you have regrets?

I have some interpersonal regrets that are so raw, so fresh, and so painful that they can immobilize me. I know that things will improve, that I will get beyond these changes, but they beg for examination and learning.

Even when we know what we're doing, there's no guarantee that we will do what we know is best.

The clearest example is in our conversations. So much is left unsaid. So much is caged and framed in quasi-positive screens in hopes of avoiding confrontation or discomfort. But we need that confrontation. We need to work through that discomfort. Whenever I have, my life has dramatically improved. When ever I have failed to speak both my heart and my mind, my truth at that moment, the result has lingered, faltered, and hurt.

As Susan Scott might say, "We're bigger than that."

I learned much from reading Susan Scott's books, especially Fierce Conversations, and from seeing her speak. I was even lucky enough to meet her briefly after one of her talks. When I applied what I learned from her, my business results improved and my relationships grew deeper and more meaningful. Not universally, but substantially.

When I got sloppy, when I forgot to continue to engage in achieving success one conversation at a time, things began to unravel. I held back what needed to be said. I filtered my intension with confusion and misdirection. It fooled none, especially not my significant other at the time.

My failure to speak my truth courageously and fiercely cost me that relationship. It has been my saddest, most profound loss. I will do anything to help other people avoid that heartache, that loss. Not with a magic wand. Not with therapy (although that helps). But by developing genuine, authentic, transparent conversations.

Say what you need to say, I beg you. Say it truthfully, sincerely, openly, and with compassion. Build on your strengths and develop the ones that are under exercised with the primary purpose of becoming and being the best possible communicator you can be.

No falsehoods. No lies. No deceptions. No unspoken truths kept to yourself because they might expose your uncertainty or confusion. Tell the truth.

I don't often post videos, but this one is powerful and brought tears of recognition to my eyes when Susan Scott reminded me of that powerful quote from Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises) "How did you go bankrupt? Gradually, then suddenly."

Our inadequate conversations gradually tear away the fabric of our relationships until suddenly, the fabric falls away. The relationship suffers irreconcilable loss. A loss that did not need to be, had we only said what's on our mind.

Here's the video. She starts out a bit slowly but please do watch the whole video. It is powerful in building her case for radical transparency.





-- Doug Smith

What have you learned today?

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