Give Honesty With an Equal Dose of Compassion

It’s  been  said  that honesty without compassion is cruelty.

Yes,  it’s  true  that  we do prefer people who are straight up with us. We all want to know where we stand. But ever met someone who prides herself on brutal honesty? Someone who feels at ease saying whatever  comes  to mind—all in the name of “just being honest”?

There  is  a  wide  difference  between  “telling  it  like  it  is”  and compassionate honesty. Usually people who are brutally honest lack something crucial in developing relationships. It’s called tact. And tact stems from a sense of compassion.

102But just what exactly is compassion? In short, it’s a measure of sensitivity. It’s knowing that, often, people are unaware that their behavior or actions are rubbing us the wrong way. It’s understanding that people come from different walks of life, and their behaviors  are a result of their culture—domestic, foreign, or family. And that difference doesn’t equate to inferiority.

So when you find you need to “tell it like it is,” tell it with compassion. Let the person know you have his best interests at heart, and you want good things for him. Share facts without judgment, and choose language that demonstrates you believe the best of this person.

When you mix honesty with compassion, you have the right ingredients for friendship and respect.

151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People Skills – Robert Dittmer
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