Do you know anyone who proudly exclaims, “You’ll never wonder what I’m trying to say, because I like to tell it like it is.” After hearing such claims, do you cringe and find yourself scratching your head, hoping for the day your tell-it-like-it-is friend gets wiser?

Consider the young football player. In high school you can be an incredible success – perhaps even all-conference – if you just hit hard. But if you want to make the team at the college level, where everyone hits hard, then you have to add technique to your game.

And if you want to play professionally some day? Then, you have to hit hard, demonstrate flawless technique and you have to play smart.


In other words, simply hitting hard isn’t enough. In fact, such a narrow-minded approach is not even close to being effective, let alone professional.


Why are so many tell-it-like-it-is people hard to work with? It’s like a roulette table as it’s always a gamble: You never know what you’re going to get. Are they going to tell it like it is and leave a trail of destruction that hurts people, relationships and results? Where no one is inspired to share innovative ideas? Where confidence is bludgeoned?


Or, can the tell-it-like-it-is person also demonstrate a style and show they’re smart enough so when they speak they develop:


  • Better ideas than their own
  • The people around them
  • Relationships with others in the room
  • Greater confidence in the plan being created
  • And improved performance and results?

Our friend, Susan, inspired this: When someone says “I tell it like it is,” consider that we should respond: Let me tell you like it is: It is vital that when you share your perspective you do it in a way that moves thoughts, people and results forward.


What style and smarts will you model as you tell it like it is?

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