From a young age, we are taught that we can’t always share what’s on our mind. “Don’t tell her that. Say that she looks fine. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Developing the tact to avoid the awkward usually helps avoid petty fights, and saves feelings.
As we get older, the necessity of this filter seems to become more and more ingrained. We find ourselves confronted with the question again and again. “Should I tell the truth?” By no means is there one correct answer to this question that applies to all occasions, but there are times when sharing your deepest thoughts, fears, and dreams can definitely be the right answer.
An HBR article from last week explores this idea, For People to Trust You, Reveal Your Intentions. The author challenges the reader to find our greatest fears, and in turn our greatest obstacles. “Intentions are how we distinguish a villain from someone whose influence we accept, whom we move toward,” he writes. “Competence may be appealing, but intentions are what attract or repel us and foster trust or mistrust.”
The conclusion of the article is that if you want people to trust you, you have to make sure that they understand and accept your intentions. If you can do that, then the battle is almost won.
The steps to accomplish this are quite simple:
- First, talk explicitly about your intentions — what’s important to you, the goals you seek, the values and motives that guide your actions and decisions.
- The second way to reveal your intentions is through integrity. Walk the talk. Keep your word. Be sure that what you say is consistent with what you do.
- The third way you reveal your intentions is through consistency.
By following these steps to express your true intentions, you can be on the way to more intimate and honest relationships.
Do you agree that it is important to know the intentions of a person before you can trust them? What helps you build honest relationships?
Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.