Show you care about people by speaking the truth and using kind words

Here’s a good business practice to begin right now: If something that someone is doing is upsetting you, tell them immediately and tell them with kindness. When you do that, they will usually be more than happy to help accommodate you in order to make you more comfortable. In addition, it doesn’t build up into something bigger than it is. You become more and more annoyed while the person that could have done something about it has no earthly idea that you are upset. Eventually, you explode–however gently–and can no longer keep it inside.

I had a meeting at my house the other night and received an email the next day from someone who was very sensitive to my scented candles. Boy, I didn’t even think of that! And I sure wish I had since nothing bugs me more than someone sitting next to me who has perfume (especially a perfume I dislike) on.

But what gets me is that this person waited nearly 24 hours to tell me and you could tell by the tone of the email that the scented candles really grated. And there was no longer anything I could do about it except to feel badly.

I would have been more than happy to blow them out. Instead, I spent another few hours the next day feeling horrible that I had made someone uncomfortable in my home.

Lessons: (1) Don’t use highly scented anything in large groups of people you don’t know. There are so many people out there who have allergies or are extra sensitive. (2) Learn to be direct and to speak the truth with kindness and respect for the other person’s intentions.

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6 comments to Show you care about people by speaking the truth and using kind words

  • Great advice – not just for business but for all aspects of life Thanks for reminding all of us about the importance of letting someone know of a problem with kindness Patty

  • To speak up is good advice. How uncomfortable someone makes it when they send a harsh email but do not address the point when something could be done about their irritation right away. I was at the workshop and thought it was fantastic. Anne http://www.SoupKitchenWriting.com blog.SoupKitchenWriting.com

  • Patty: Yes. Sometimes it’s so hard to speak up. I think it’s important to know when the time is passed. I don’t mind learning a lesson (no scented candles with a large group!), but I do want to be aware when it is no longer helpful to tell someone what I was thinking. Thanks, Anne, for your kindness. I’m really looking forward to following your blogging. You’re an amazing writing instructor.

  • Hi Alyson, This is a great reminder!! I know I get tied up inside about my own needs vs a groups’ needs …. especially as someone with disabilities. It is good to hear that you would have liked to hear that day. I usually say something (kindly) ahead of time before the next situation with someone … but maybe it is better to say something right then .. I just don’t like to inconvenience people … sigh … ~ Diane Clancy http://www.dianeclancy.com/blog

  • We can always use this great reminder. Thanks!

  • TruthfullySpeaking

    In my limited time to visit other blogs these past few weeks, Ive noticed a minor topic trend: speaking the truth and/or speaking positively.
    The first post in this regard came from Christine Kane.  In late October she posted on going complaint…