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How to Encourage People to Speak the Truth

Have you experienced that people sometimes give you excuses rather than reasons? They respond, but somehow it just doesn’t ring true? Maybe their answer just does not satisfy you?

I walked into the women’s restroom at my favorite pizza kitchen last week. A lovely young black woman was in the restroom talking on a cell phone.  She smiled as I entered. While I closed the door on a stall, I heard her say sweetly, “Is that the real reason you did that?”

I was stunned at the straight-forward question to her caller! I thought, “Wow! She knows how to get past people’s excuses and get to the real answer!” She did it with a simple respectful question.

I have no idea what she was talking to her caller about. But I do know that her conversation deepened with that person as soon as she asked her question. She took the conversation into more  authenticity and  connection without accusation or anger. She created the space for the other to consider the real truth of his or her statement.

Do you have friends, family members, co-workers who always seem to have excuses? If so, try what that skillful young woman did with her caller.  Ask them if that is the real reason they did or did not do something. I’d love to hear what happens!

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