This week's Boring Way Fundamental is #8: SPEAK STRAIGHT. Speak honestly in a way that moves the action forward. Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it's necessary for team success. Provide guidance, advice, and counsel in a manner specific to each unique situation. Avoid gossip by addressing issues directly with those who are involved or affected. Be authentic.
Great Minds Agree
The following quote was said to be cherished by Theodore Roosevelt: "To ride, shoot straight and speak the truth. This was the ancient law of youth." The words come from Herodotus, who wrote of the ancient Persians that they taught the youth three things only --- to ride, shoot, and speak truth.
A person who reacts very quickly to situations, without stopping to think, is said to be someone who "shoots from the hip." Only a master marksman can hit a target this way, as only a skilled orator can be efficient with words that are not chosen carefully.
"Be precise in the use of words and expect precision from others." Peter Abelard (image ©The Hunger Games)
The Boring Way
This fundamental, "Speak Straight," exemplifies the heart of the Boring Way in that is requires diligence in the balance of successes. Where do we find that equilibrium between having our own needs met (making that sale, getting the job done fast, saying what we feel we need to say, sharing our minds, etc.), and our duty to serve the greater good?
The answer is in the word "way." The way that we speak our truths can prove constructive if we remember to speak with honesty, sincerity, humility, and with a simplicity that shows respect for the people we are speaking to and the issues we are confronting.
We owe it to ourselves to speak our minds, and we owe it to each other to share observations that can propel the entire organization, agenda, or relationship forward. But for success, we must do so with the same efficiency that we apply to our other important operations.
To Shoot/Speak Straight:
1. Prepare. Be of sound mind.
2. Know your target. Take your time to aim, and pull the trigger when you are ready.
3. Keep practicing. Remember that like any skill, perfection is a process.
Speaking straight is a practice that we can continually improve if we have the commitment to be discliplined and mindful.
Blog post by Emily Fox
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