Ever left a conversation, wanting to say what was on your mind, but not having the courage to do it–and then leaving with a feeling of regret because you are still carrying the message within you? Well, it’s probably fear of the reaction that kept it inside, right?

Usually when probing for dysfunction on a work team or a family, one of the main culprits is a lack of direct communication. Issues push to other people not directly involved in solving a problem or confronting an issue, and we go on parallel paths alongside each other instead of actually going deeper with each other.

I’m not giving a green light to rude, blunt comments that seek to harm another person. Of course, a conversation should be well-thought-out before thrust onto a recipient. But I am advocating getting to the point and shooting straight with people, maybe wincing a little inside for their reaction, but holding to the course until a problem gets resolved, a relationship gets reconciled, or an intent gets declared.

Holding it inside keeps you stuck. Sharing it respectfully with an intent to heal or grow open doors. You aren’t responsible for their reaction, only for speaking the truth in love.