Step 7 – Speak The Truth With Kindness
When you’re in a conflict, or you’re trying to resolve an issue, do you find yourself wanting to run away from it, or getting overly aggressive?
Passivity or aggression are not healthy ways to deal with conflict. The commonly accepted alternative is to be assertive. It’s that middle ground. It’s being truthful; but it’s also being respectful.
Step 7 in our Twelve Steps to Conflict Resolution is to Speak the Truth with Kindness. That’s the balance. Always be truthful. Always be kind.
If you speak the truth…
You won’t run away from it.
You won’t be a coward.
You won’t go hide in your cave.
You won’t dodge the issue.
You won’t live in denial.
Instead, you will address it. Even if it means dealing with hard issues about yourself as well as the other person. That’s painful, but that’s how you work through conflict. You always speak the truth, but you always…
Do it with kindness.
You’re never disrespectful.
You’re never uncaring.
You’re never unloving.
You’re never unkind.
That is the heart of conflict resolution.
Think of the two rails of a train track. One is truth, one is kindness. The train will move along just great if it stays on the track. What if the train says, “Hey, I’d rather just jump off the tracks and go run around that field, and do my own thing!” Or what if you say, “Hey, I only need to be truthful. I don’t need to be kind,” or “Hey, I only need to be kind and passive. Therefore I should just dodge those issues and not address them.” The train will crash and burn. It can’t make it without the two rails of the track. And neither can you.
Wisdom is two rails in tension.
The two rails work together. We need both, because by personality bent we will tend to go to one extreme or the other. So, speak the truth. Don’t be a coward. Be honest, but do it lovingly, kindly, with respect–lifting up people but dealing with issues.
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