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Four ways to be brutally honest, without being brutal

Tell it straight, while also keeping your relationships intact. Author Keith Ferrazzi has tips.

mean mentor who challenges you, pundit Jodi Glickman recently argued, beats a kind and supportive one who lets you get away with doing less than your best. That’s a solid bit of wisdom for those at the start of the entrepreneurial careers, but what if you yourself are the mentor?

If you’re a business owner with talent you’d like to mold, should you be mean? And if so, how do you go about pulling no punches and telling it like it is without ruffling too many feathers or de-motivating the very folks you’re trying to nurture? How to be brutally honest without being brutal is a rarely addressed question but one that every humane but driven business owner will probably confront.

Helpfully, business relationship guru and author of Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi, just took to his blog to offer tips to help you avoid not only whitewashing less-than-stellar news or reviews of people’s work, but also damaging your relationships. The long post offers ten tips to help you be frank but keep your key relationships intact, all of which are worth a read, but here are a few of the least expected:

  1. Make the first move. The person who initiates the move toward greater candor and transparency has to give a preview of what it looks like. This does not mean launching into immediate criticisms but rather using intros like, “This is hard for me, and I’m a little worried about how this is going to go over, but because I care about the work we’re doing, I want us to start having more meaningful conversations.”

…to read this article in full, visit leading US small business resource, Inc.

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