So often in life I find people are afraid to speak their truth. Even in business, with great leaders, I see them struggle with honesty…. especially when having difficult conversations. They present their truth with hesitation, fear, anger, judgment or blame (or talk badly about folks to others but never address the actual person). All of which leads to disastrous results (misinterpretation, anger, hurt feelings, liability, poor work performance, lack of trust, etc).

There is an art to speaking truth. Here are a few tips I have learned along the way:
1. As my friend Odette always says, tap your heart and ask it, what would love do? How would love and compassion approach the situation? Ponder that for a bit before the conversation and approach the situation from the insight you experience as you explore that question. When you get ready to communicate, breathe into your heart (drop into your heart) and keep your attention at your heart as you communicate your truth.

2. Consider it was you sitting in that position and how you would want to be approached. Treat the person as you would like to be treated.

3. Remember we are all acting out of what we know and what we are capable of. This helps to create empathy for the person you are communicating with.

4. Take the blame and judgment out, and leave the fear and anger at the door. Going back to #1, stay in a place of love and respect. Love cannot coexist with any of those other emotions. And people feel when you care and will respond in the same manner.

5. Be authentic, vulnerable and open and present your truth clearly and concisely. Make good eye contact and be confident. Know that what you are presenting is for the highest good of the person and yourself.

6. Listen to the other person and really hear what they have to say. Let them get their thoughts out before responding. Be thoughtful and kind. Hold space for them to vent. Even if it has no basis of truth for you, being heard and validated can completely diffuse a situation.

7. Be aware of your body language and theirs. As stated above, make good eye contact. Keep a relaxed and open posture. Body language is as important as the message, in speaking your truth.

8. Be okay with not seeing eye to eye. Do not own another person’s response. We are only responsible for being authentic and speaking our truth from a place of love. If we do that, and the other person is not ready to hear it, we can walk away feeling good because we know we showed up honestly, with integrity, authenticity and the best intention. And remember, we cannot have a real connection to another if we do not speak our truth. It will never pass beyond the superficial. True and deep bonds come from showing up honestly, authentically, vulnerably and with love and the best intentions for those we are connecting with and ourselves.

Sending so much love, Prema


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