Are you as honest as you think you are?
Most of us pride ourselves on our honesty; we pay our taxes, don't cheat on exams, etc. However, when it comes to being honest with ourselves and in certain interpersonal situations, we seem to have a much harder time. This kind of insincerity causes us more stress than we realize and ultimately harms our self-esteem and our relationships with others. Below are some thoughts on how to put a bit more honesty back into your every day interactions:
- Be honest about needing time for yourself.
How many times have you told yourself that finishing the laundry is more important than your need to get to bed early? How often have you agreed to volunteer at an event though you're already overextended and want more time to exercise? It's time to be brutally honest with yourself that you not only want time to recharge, but also truly need it.
- Be honest about what you need from your work.
In these difficult economic times, many of us are reluctant to do anything to "rock the boat" at work. However, if you are bored with your work, it's unlikely that you are contributing your best efforts to the organization. Talk with your manager about your professional interests and where you see win-win opportunities to contribute your talent while concurrently achieving organizational goals. Don't expect your manager to find these opportunities for you; come to the conversation prepared with creative ideas.
- Be honest when you've lost your cool.
It happens to all of us from time to time; just don't try to pretend that it didn't happen or that it was someone else's fault. Tell the recipients of your tirade that you're sorry you overreacted. I honestly believe that my kids respect me the most when they hear me tell them that I'm sorry for something I've done.
- On the flip side....Be honest when someone apologizes to you.
If someone is apologizing, it's probably because they have done something which hurt or offended you. Rather than meekly replying to their apology with, "That's OK," show respect for them and yourself by responding, "Thanks, I really appreciate your apology."
- Be honest by clearly asserting yourself.
This isn't to say that you should always "have your way," but there are times when it's important to assert yourself when you have a strong opinion. If you have a serious preference about which movie to see, you're not doing yourself or anyone else a favor by saying, "It doesn't matter." Speak up and tell them you want to see Scream 4. Personally, I won't be joining you to watch that particular flick, but I'll be in the theatre next door happily watching something starring Colin Firth.
Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars. Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.