Leading People - Speak The Truth In Love

One of the greatest pieces of wisdom I have ever received on how to properly lead people is, "Speak the truth in love."

Now many don't want to talk about love in the same breath as managing or leading people, they don't believe in that touchy feely stuff. Others probably won't want to hear that I found it in the Bible in Ephesians 4:15. Just give me a moment though and you will see, probably from your own experiences, why it is so simple and so powerful.

Put yourself on the receiving end of some criticism, you have probably had these types of interactions with people before:

  1. Someone that is being honest with you but it is brutal. You walk away realizing it is true but feeling worse about yourself in the process. There are feelings of anger and resentment to the person in all likelihood.
  2. Someone that says all kinds of nice things to you but you find out later that it wasn't the truth in how they really felt. You felt good at the time but you end up feeling betrayed and bitter.
  3. When someone was honest with you and you left feeling energized, appreciating the feedback and thinking that you can actually do something to fix it. Even better it feels like the person wants to actually help you succeed.
Whether they know it or not, in the third scenario those people spoke the truth in love to you. Many of us don't like the word love, but that is what we do in scenario three with each other.

All of us play many roles as a parent, spouse, employee, leader, etc. In each of those roles you have many opportunities to provide feedback to someone that has something they need to improve upon or change. Take the time to think carefully about the words you use and speak the truth in love.

I also think that in the light of recent events in our country we can all agree that we could use all the love we can muster at this point.


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