But how do we practice good truth telling? How do we develop our capacity to speak our truth with kindness, with love, and with authenticity?
1) Stop managing other people's feelings. It's arrogant, manipulative, and somewhat foolish to think that we have the ability to manage other people's emotions. Many of us use this as an excuse to not really speak our truth - we don't want to hurt people. We can be mindful of other people's feelings so we don't end up being intentionally mean and hurtful, but when we let go of taking care of their feeling in a euphemistic and condescending way, it frees us up to be have truly adult conversations.
2) Be real, not right - it's not a contest. This is a big deal when it comes to speaking the truth. When we focus on winning or being right at all costs, we no longer tap into our heart of hearts, the place where real truth comes from. When we don't focus on the outcome of a conversation, what the other person is thinking, and our desire to always having to be right, we give ourselves the opportunity to be real. Being transparent is the key to speaking our truth, not dominating the conversation or the person (audience) we're communicating with.
3) Practice. We all need to get better at truth telling, and the best way is of course is to practice. We're talking about speaking our truth here - it's about speaking up and stepping out with your truth. Will you screw it up? Of course, we're all human. Will people get pissed-off, or defensive some times? Absolutely. Truth telling isn't about being perfect, it's about being yourself and talking to people authentically.