Today, I’m going to offer a third and final practical tip on how to become a person who can be truthful in all situations: practice the positive no.
The positive no is a concept that originated with William Ury, who wrote the book Getting to Yes, and it’s important for everyone, especially leaders. What it means is that anytime you are going to say “no” to something, you precede and follow it with a “yes” to keep it positive, kind of like a sandwich. For instance, if your boss asks you to work late on Friday night and you already have plans, although you intend to say “no,” you surround that negative with positives. You might respond by saying, “Yes, I’m happy to work extra hours, but I have plans to see my daughter’s play at school, so I won’t be able to make it in that night. However, I’m happy to come in another time.” Taking this approach to delivering less than positive news makes telling the truth much more palatable. As you learn to regularly employ such techniques, ridding your life of social lies will be less scary than you might have imagined.
Friend, living honestly and with integrity is much better than getting ahead by cutting corners and telling lies. Even if it requires taking the long way around, the peace of mind it affords will be worth choosing the road less traveled. Your reputation for honesty will make you a beacon of hope and an anchor of inspiration to those around you, as your family, friends, coworkers, and even competitors learn to trust you as a voice of truth. You are a leader, and leaders always choose integrity because in so doing, they leave a legacy that is beyond what they can see or understand!