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Our monthly Straight Talk Tips highlight aspects of the Straight Talk approach to effective communication. They serve as reminders of the process for those who have been through the Straight Talk training. They are also an introduction to the concepts on which Straight Talk is based.

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When you don't speak up, you end up being polite instead of honest, your feedback is bland and your opinions are muted. Holding back on what you truly think and feel is essentially dishonest behaviour, but without some skill in holding sensitive conversations, many people choose not to speak up, rather than risk getting into an argument.

Use the ten items below for a quick assessment of whether you need to do more straight talking.

  1. You hold back on full and candid opinions when difficult or sensitive issues are being discussed.
  2. Rather than say what you really think, you use humour and sarcasm to get your point across.
  3. You tend to tell people what to do, rather than taking time to explore their opinions and ideas.
  4. You put up with incompetence and bad behaviour rather than confront it with critical feedback.
  5. You notice your emotions becoming stronger the longer you don't speak up.
  6. You keep quiet rather than give bad news or other unwelcome information to others who may react negatively.
  7. You choose to ignore behaviour you find offensive, rather than confront someone.
  8. You sometimes explode with anger or frustration when you have been unable to speak up.
  9. You get frustrated when you can't persuade people to change how they behave.
  10. There are people around you who drive you crazy with their aggressive or disrespectful behaviour.

Are you a planner or an improvisor?

Some people have lives that are organised and structured. They decide what must be done and consistently do it, with carefully considered plans. Their schedules and To Do lists are full.

Others, by contrast, take a more spontaneous and open minded view of life. They have a live and let live attitude. They can improvise plans and change them as conditions change.

People who are well balanced have the perception to understand which style is most appropriate at any given time, but each of us has a preference for one or the other.

Do you chart every step ahead or do you improvise with whatever life deals you? Which description in the questions below most closely describes the style with which you are most comfortable?

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About Straight Talk

Straight Talk is a set of skills that help you hold safe constructive conversations even in sensitive and difficult situations. They allow you to put your opinion forward without getting into arguments. You can hold people to account and influence them to change their behaviour.

With Straight Talk you no longer have to bite your lip and hold onto your frustration. Nor do you risk the harm you do to yourself and your relationships when you speak out with anger and accusation. 

If you’re serious about changing the way you communicate at work, or with family and friends, we’d like to talk to you. Mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 082 601 2807. Click here to read more about Straight Talk

Change your behaviour – change the future

When you know how to change behaviour, you can change almost anything, in your personal life, and at work. There are no quick fixes but this workshop shows you how to make sure your efforts bring results that last. Click here for details

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  • Managing Director, Software company
    Great stuff and brilliant advice. I learned a lot from Maureen’s way of presenting Straight Talk and had an absolutely awesome time on the workshop.

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