“Just be yourself, you know, your genuine self, and everything will be fine”. That is one thing. Then there is “do not take anything personally, and brush off any negative thoughts”. Sure! This is not a rant, rather a continuous balance exercise, feeling like a funambulist, debating between wanting to shout out to the world who I am and, at the same time, not to sting anybody. Touching on the topic with peers, this seems to sound pretty familiar, and some could see it as an overload of introspective considerations. Both are true, and relevant.

There are no feelings in business, some say, or think. Then again, stakeholders, external partners, suppliers and other contractors are people too, with a past and a vision, on how to do a certain kind of work. I have a preference for dealing with no-nonsense partners who tell it like it is, saving the sugarcoating exercise for others. Sometimes, prude ears could feel offended, for sure. So what: handling the truth is a skill from which to bounce back. The intent is only to move forward, learning from the hiccups and embracing little detours, emotional ones and all.

The majority of people do not mean any harm (I know, it is a generalisation), yet political correctness has taken over in so many environments that honesty has gone down in the rank of interaction in everyday life. And that is disheartening. For the sake of being polite and supposedly respectful (by using kind words while delivering an (un)pleasant message), I rarely witness the ones who try getting what they actually meant across, regardless of how well, or not, they know their interlocutors. That is becoming a big deal, and I am certainly not encouraging any bullying either. The daily news holds too much grief and frustrated proof that communication skills are critical in reaching any kind of agreement with a diversity of (chosen and imposed) partners.

So, maybe like in any relationship, if I want to nurture and maintain it, I just need to be open and honest with both myself and my partner(s), so there is no secret in how I feel about a decision or an event that will likely affect our future, be it a week, a month or… decades. Turning the light on what is, accepting cleavage of perceptions might be a good option to pursue a rapport I have with a collaborator. It is a perpetual work in progress, a genuine one indeed, where, ideally, everyone contributes freely with similar intentions. I know it works, for real, without any positive reinforcement. Combine absolute awareness and since willingness, and voilà!

Photo credit © Art de Voir – “Light”