“Don’t wear that! It makes you look poor!” Is that something to say to a woman in maternity wear 3 months after giving birth? Was that rude? Not when my grandmother says it!
And now I’ll tell you why! When we communicate there is a second level of communications that rests behind the words that we say. That level of communications is as important or more than the words that we have spewed out into the world.
In this case there was consideration and respect behind the words ” don’t wear that, it makes you look poor.”
There is also another layer to the communication that was there, and it was the following: You are a pretty, intelligent and driven woman who deserves to look beautiful and successful stop wearing stuff that makes you look like a balloon! And there was truth behind that as well. My wife looked at her and she said…”your right!” And her wardrobe changed almost over night.
When we are a request for the best from our environnement and we look towards our surrounding to lift itself up and generate themselves as the best that they can be for themselves, sometimes it takes words that shake us up. Words that aren’t the nice ones. Words that make us stop and think. And all things can be delivered with tact and politesse even if the words would otherwise be seen as offensive.
I also wrote an obituary recently that generated some controversy when someone read it because of the choice of words. And I had to stand my ground on the content of that text until the other person came back to me and said…”you know what? [I love this…]You were right.”
You can get away with almost anything if you deliver your communications with the appropriate levels of concern, consideration and appreciation for the perspective of the others involved in receiving the communications that you have to deliver!
Commit yourselves, make sure you have something to say…and SAY IT!