Saturday, July 2, 2011

Good Truth and Bad Truth

By Julie Rahm


My coaching business allows me insight into my client’s lives. My clients are professionals who hire me to improve themselves and their performance. All have challenges in their workplace with relationships they find particularly difficult. These dysfunctional relationships are often fueled with the intent to discredit each other. Like crabs in bucket, employees try to claw their way up by pushing those around them back down into the bucket. These unproductive and unhealthy relationships fill the workplace with tension. And surprisingly, the primary weapon in these employees’ interpersonal arsenal is often the truth. Yes indeed, workplace combatants use the truth as a weapon with the goal of making the adversary employee yield. Injustice is often administered by true words. But, truth does not vindicate one from bad intent. There is bad truth. Truth becomes bad when delivered with bad intent. One of my favorite quotes is by English poet William Blake who lived from 1757 to 1827. He wrote, “A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.”

Well being demands that differences must be settled in a constructive fashion. I mediate differences by constructing a win-win situation. If everyone wins, everyone moves forward and the organization achieves its goals. And, if a win-win solution can’t be constructed, it is important for the loser to save face. Along those lines, another quote my husband likes is from Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu was an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who lived from 544–496 BC. He stated, “To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting”. This is a good philosophy for business management as well as life. We could all use more diplomacy in our lives and homes.

My husband John and I have an enduring rule for our home. Our rule is, “Everything that is said must be true. But, everything that is true doesn’t need to be said”. As an example, when dinner is overcooked, we don’t belabor the point. No need to restate the obvious. Be forward focused. Some are the sportscasters of their relationships. They continually recap what happened or offer opinion. This is not good medicine for any relationship. If this sounds familiar, my Mindset Mechanic metaphorical tools can help. The level confirms you are sliding into an unhealthy mindset of bad intentions. The flashlight illuminates why. The pliers pull out those unproductive thoughts. Then, hammer in a new mindset framework for positive intent. Connect your positive intent with your actions by using the screwdriver. Finally, the measuring tape demonstrates your forward progress. And remember, there is both good and bad truth. Intent makes all the difference.

Uncover beliefs that keep you stuck. Get your free 52-week online guided journal by joining the Mindset Mechanic Community at www.TheMindsetMechanic.com. Listen to the Mindset Mechanic Radio Show, Saturdays at 5PM on FM107.1 WTKF/AM1240 WJNC and via www.TheTalkStation.com.

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