The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
Those words from French diplomat, dramatist and novelist Jean Giraudoux are always good to elicit a smile. Sadly a lot of businesses and people think that is a viable approach. But nothing will keep you from prosperity faster than insincerity.
Our relationships, economy and the very fabric of our society are glued together by sincerity. The free enterprise system would crash without it. Relationships would be fearful and guarded, and no intimacy would be possible.
Insincere people imagine everyone else operates that way. They project their beliefs on everything around them, for everything is yellow to the jaundiced eye. But the real business breakthroughs and the wonderful, joyous relationships that enrich your life, are always based on honesty.
This is a hard thing for many people to develop in relationships…
I know lots of people whose highest value is avoiding confrontation. They were raised in dysfunctional environments such as an alcoholic or abusive parent, so they walk on eggshells. Before they say anything, they edit it mentally in the supercomputer of their mind, screening to ensure that there’s no possible way they could offend anyone. This makes them even more fear-based and neurotic, and continues the downward cycle of their interactions.
Other people were taught that it is poor manners to ever disagree with anyone, and they avoid subjects like politics, religion or anything that could be perceived as controversial. So they never offend anyone. They’re also boring as hell. And no one ever really trusts them either.
The first challenge I have in new relationships – business or personal – is getting the other party to understand I want the truth. My highest value in relationships is being real. I want you to be real with me and need to know I can be real with you. If you ask me if the turkey is too dry, or if those pants make your ass look fat, you’re going to get the truth.
Now that doesn’t mean that you have to be mean-spirited. Truth telling only works when people know that you really do care about them and have their best wishes at heart. You can let them know things in a loving way that serves them.
That’s for the people that care about you and you care about them…
Other people don’t have your best interests at heart. They may be competitors trying to sabotage your business, people with petty jealousies, or personal mommy issues they haven’t resolved yet. And the best way to handle them is also telling the truth…
That may mean telling them they have to deal with you with more respect in the future, it could be letting them know you no longer trust doing business with them, or it could even mean telling them to get the fuck out of your life forever.
And that really is for everyone’s highest good…
When businesses get complaints, that tells them where they need to improve. And when the people around you “call you on your stuff,” it allows you to know where you need to get better if you want to keep those people in your life.
It’s not about changing to make yourself attractive to others, however. That is really just more insincerity. It’s about being real with each other and being a sounding board. In a positive, functional relationship you each have a safe space to check things out. It’s a partnership of growing along this journey we call life. Because to pull another quote from Giraudoux, “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”
The real journey is about challenge and growth, and that only happens when you have real relationships based on honesty and integrity with people you can trust.
If you get out of the politically correct societal perceptions of relationships and live in truth, it’s amazing what wonderful people you can attract, and the value and joy those relationships can bring for both sides.
So how you doing on that?