Speak Directly, Please and Thank you

Directly speaking, I have great respect for those who can be direct. It elevates communication and is an admirable gift to mankind, when one can speak their mind and state their truths while holding emotions in check. Friendly exchanges, chit chat, laughter, and play have their place, but if one needs to deliver an important message, speaking directly is the best way. Even if the message does not leave my ego flattered, when someone speaks directly and candidly to me, I am not shattered. Quite the contrary, my feathers may be ruffled, but when someone’s truth settles, I am empowered.

Let’s be clear, screaming is not speaking and being a bully is not being direct. Both behaviors exhibit a loss of control by a feeble-minded soul, who cannot manage him or herself, let alone exert their beliefs on someone else. Clearly presenting a logical argument, while maintaining a stable temperament, even during a disagreement, is an artform that deserves a higher platform in our world of pasteurized niceness and politically correct. Too many half-truths and attempts to appease drip from sugarcoated lips. Standing firm and delivering words that might offend is not easy to do. One must be guided by personal truth, and to be effective, a bit courteous too.

Speaking directly, with a chance of offending, does not come naturally to me, and it is no surprise when I reflect on my upbringing. My midwestern grandma served up agreement with her homemade apple pie and my southern grandma delivered indirect sayings through a playful smile while serving sweet tea and juicy fried. I do not recall hearing, “speak your mind,” but the reminder to, “think before you speak,” was clearly defined. Our mom instilled manners in us. For her expectations of, “please” and “thank you,” I am much obliged. The belief, “children should be seen and not heard” was my dad’s style. Sharing an open mind, love, and empathy and displaying civility will always be my guiding threads, but there is something to be said for speaking up when others overstep. When we protect our own boundaries, self-love is evident. Speaking directly, without hesitation, I may never completely master, but I have come a long way with this direct trait that I respectfully admire.

I encouraged countless teenagers to share their voice in an articulate manner and in my classroom, their words and opinions were given respect and space. I have done my best, to empower my own daughter to speak her truth with confidence and grace. I pray she and generations that follow, will maintain high standards for speaking directly and candidly and that they will be strong enough to give and receive honest words delivered with a calm and deliberate pace.

Photobombed on the Arizona State University campus. Hilarious! 😂 A directly funny form of communication.

This directly marks my 100th post! It has taken me twenty months to accomplish what some bloggers accomplish every month. 😂 I will save reflecting on blogging for my two-year blog anniversary, but I do want to thank you for being here and for supporting me with your kindness, comments, and time. If you have been following and reading my posts since late 2019, thank you, your check is in the mail. 😂 I hope you are enjoying my posts as much as I enjoy writing and sharing. 😁🙏🏻 Be well.💗 Michele

Bonus Section: Candor in Business
When I was in grad school I took a class on leadership and in that class I read several books about leaders and leadership styles. One idea that stood out to me from my extensive reading was from the book, Winning, by Jack Welch. As the former CEO of GE he was known for creating a culture of honesty and candor – an interesting and refreshing concept in business and professional organizations (and life). Skimming through the book, these are some of the ideas I highlighted relating to candor and honesty that extend my thoughts about speaking directly:
      -lack of candor is the biggest dirty little secret in business
      -candor gets more people in the conversation
      -candor generates speed
      -candor cuts costs
      -people don’t speak their minds because it is easier not to
      -the lack of candor is the ultimate form of alienation
      -candor unclutters

Disclaimer: The views shared about Jack Welch’s leadership style are taken from his book, Winning. I cannot validate, nor discredit them, and if his behaviors before, during, or after his CEO tenure, do not reflect an honest man, well, that is outside the scope of my honest research. If you are inclined, feel free to speak directly to his credibility, or lack thereof, in the comments.😆

For tips on body language, visit the Ideal Inspiration blog’s article, titled, “Importance of Body Language in Communication.”

Photo 1: by Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels) Photo 2: taken at ASU a few weeks ago, thank you LP

© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton.

71 thoughts on “Speak Directly, Please and Thank you

  1. I’ve been working on speaking more directly. It’s definitely not intuitive for me, but I think it’s an important skill, and one that can make a huge difference. I really appreciated this post!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Poetpas

    Wise words! I am all for directness, albeit with a certain degree of respect. I am too direct at times and not everyone can handle that. I’m all for clarity tho-and that needs (directing) directness. As for my directness on parents: Regard the society of parents as a necessary unpleasentness of life avoided as much as possible 😂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for reading my “wise words.” I strive to live a life as wise as my words. 😆 True, not everyone can handle directness, but I do think the world needs more (respectful) frankness. Directly speaking, as far as parenting is concerned, I thought I wanted three children. After having one (amazing blessing), I realized I was done. 😅 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. https://tamarakulish.com/

    I remember speaking directly with a couple of contractors a couple of years ago after they royally botched the job and they complimented me. They said they had never been told off before where they didn’t feel disrespected or diminished but that I had somehow left them feeling they really wanted to do better.

    We will never be friends, but we didn’t part with animosity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a wonderful example of the value of speaking directly – treating others with respect and human kindness. Handling a “botched” job with courtesy and grace is an artform rarely seen. Too many people lose their cool, which only brings anger and frustration, not resolution. Thank you for being a considerate person and for your thoughtful contribution in this thread. 🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. https://tamarakulish.com/

        😉😊 thanks!
        In that moment I was conscious of wanting to speak my mind but I didn’t want to lose my cool and just jump into anger. I was aware of remembering that people tune us out when we vent out, and I REALLY wanted them to take something away from the talk.

        I believe that even when we start out feeling very angry, we can still channel our thoughts and words, which can have the effect of calming us down!

        Likewise when we start to vent on someone, our anger tends to build more and more rather than giving us the release we want!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Simple, uncomplicated, common courtesies. Michele, your opinion piece is spot on. 🙂 First, congratulations on your 100th post…what a milestone! Just wait until you reach the 200, 300…1000th post! 😀 That’s not too far down the road girlfriend.

    I think you sincerely put into words your personal and public experiences that have so many takeaways to choose from. Yes, you can speak your truth, even if on an opposing side, and still be friends or acquaintances. I am reminded of the relationship between John McCain and Joe Biden who were clearly opposites politically on certain issues, but they were the best of friends and respected each other’s viewpoints and opinions. They knew how to be civil. Sometimes we tend to forget civility when discussing matters. 😦

    I think about so many points you made in your post, like “seen and not heard” that rings an all-to-familiar bell, more so for me as an adult than a child believe it or not. But there are a few things through our correspondences that resonates so loudly: RESPECT, COURTESY, GRACE, KINDNESS, CONSIDERATION, COMPASSION, EMPATHY, EXPERIENCE, AND WISDOM. Continue to share, even if it steps on a few toes. Don’t dilute your gift, Michele. 😉

    What a wonderful message for your 100th post! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your intro here. Simple and uncomplicated courtesies for people like us. 😆 Thank you. We will see how long it takes me to reach 1,000 posts. 😆

      Excellent example of how two people can put aside differences and remain friends. Rare in their political arena. 🙌🏻

      Thank you, for your support and for encouraging me to share my truth. That means a lot to me. I enjoy reading your heartfelt posts. I do understand what you mean about the “seen not heard” adult reference. We will keep learning and sharing. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele Lee, you’re gonna make me cry. 🙂 You are so delightfully sweet and intuitive. Never change that girlfriend. Yes ma’am you are on your writing groove, and its no stopping you now. You’ve only just begun. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I find it hard to be direct sometimes but always worth the effort as it avoids misunderstandings. Like you said, it’s all about setting boundaries and respecting yourself. I enjoyed reading this 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Being direct is something I try very hard to do as much as I can. Putting thought into what I say before I say it also allows me the freedom to be respectfully tactful, as need warrants. I believe being a writer definitely helps in the practice of being direct, respectful, and mindful all at once with what I say!

    Love that you encourage teens to express themselves. Everyone has something to say; sometimes they need a little help refining their thoughts. ❤

    Congratulations on your 100th post! Quality over quantity, slow and steady growth, honest connection. You have all of this and it is one of the best rewards a writer can reap!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is apparent to me, Jaya, that you put thought into what you write. Your writing, both posts and comments, are thoughtful, intentional, and authentically personal. I agree with your thoughts about how writing helps us to develop our skills at being direct, respectful, and mindful. Writing helps us to dive deep, which ultimately allows us to understand and relate to our fellow humans. 💓 Writers also have the gift of wordsmithing our thoughts, deliberately crafting messages that best express our thoughts.

      Encouraging and giving young adults a platform to express themselves required energy and commitment. It would have been much easier to adopt the attitude of, “my way or the highway,” but I felt it important to empower them, in the short time that they were in my world. One of my greatest gifts in life is my connection to former students. 🥰

      Thank you! Slow and steady… I have always been a bit of a turtle. 🐢 Slow and steady wins the race. 😆 Most importantly, I enjoy the process. 💗 Thank you. 🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To me, if I cannot truly say something worth reading, I cannot put myself into the words and hence am better off saying nothing.
        I LOVE your thoughts on writing allowing us to dive deep. Through trying to portray and understand such a diverse audience of people in words, I often cannot help but find points of empathy I then bring into my life along the way.
        I am not a rabbit myself! 💐

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I grew up in a household where emotions were not well understood, alas, I didn’t understand how to communicate without emotion until much later in life. Clear and direct is an artform indeed, Michele. Congrats on 100 posts! And, the Jack Welch book is canonical. Excellent. Have a lovely Sunday, my friend. 🌺☀️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your experience is similar to mine, which is probably not that uncommon. I like to believe that we are becoming more enlightened as people, with our ability to understand and honestly express emotion. Not an easy path and always much to learn. 💗 Thank you for my “100” milestone acknowledgement and for your time spent checking in each week. 🙏🏻 I did enjoy flipping through Welch’s book and looking over my highlights. 📖 😁 Thank you and happy Sunday to you too. 🌼

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. No, not uncommon at all, especially in the United States, I think. And, yep, the path is difficult, for sure, yet so worthwhile as you note, Michele. You’re very welcome, my friend. I love being a part of your community, and look forward to many more years of reading and contributing.❤ Thanks, Michele. 😊🙏🌹

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Jeff. I am enjoying our discussion on the topic of speaking directly. 🙏🏻 A writing community that adds inspiration, creativity, laughter, pleasurable reading, and many other uplifting attributes to my life. We will continue to observe, learn, share, and support. We are in it together! Have a wonderful week. 🌼 🌻

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your post about speaking our truth – the quality of our life is impacted so much from all the conditioning otherwise.
    Congratulations galore on the 100th post milestone ❣️ Wish you continued happiness in this space!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you.💗 It is not always easy to speak our truth or to be the recipient of someone else’s, but it is only through speaking and receiving the truth that we can grow, live authentically, and hopefully, support each other. 💕 Thank you for the congrats on my “100” and for your genuine kindness with every comment and posts (yours). 🌼

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I absolutely agree with your views! I so appreciate people who get right to the point without adding layers and layers of pleasantries😂 I’m grateful my elders taught me politeness at a young age, it really is a powerful tool under stressful circumstances.
    Congratulations on your 100th post! Looking forward to reading a lot more over here!!🥳❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I am a work in progress for sure. When writing, say a flowery flowing poem, it is a joy to meander to an ending, but in life, everyday communications… I am with you… get to the point. That is definitely not everyone’s style. 😁 Your politeness shows in your thoughtful writing and in your communications with your readers. A lovely attribute. 😊 Thank you! It is a treasure to read your posts and to have you join me here. Best wishes with school! 👏

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for joining me in my blog milestone. I appreciate your visit and support. 😁 Although speaking directly is not an easy task at times and it can lead to hurt feelings and unexpected consequences, it is the best approach, for the long term. I am in agreement with you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your celebratory remark. 😊 I am enjoying the creative outlets (writing, photography, connecting, learning). 🌎🌍🌏💓 It appears that your directness with each other is one of many relationship strengths you two have. 💕 How wonderful!


    1. That is very kind of you, thank you for reading. 🌻 My journey to 100 has been rewarding, self-discovering, empowering, creatively inspiring, human connecting, and at times challenging when writing motivates a deep dive into topics and moments that are easier to skim. Thinking about the poem you wrote recently, about your mom, I am sure you can relate. 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s a magnificent post dear Michelle. I am fully agree with you, direct message maybe hurt sometimes but is highly appreciated. We all should all time be straight forward and direct to convey our message.
    And yeeeaaaahhh, so many congratulations on the 100th post dear Michelle. It’s indeed a great pleasure to complete your 100 posts. May Lord give you more courage and more successes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said. Like I wrote, speaking directly, especially when it might hurt someone’s feelings, is challenging, but speaking our truth is always best for the long term. Thank you for your input with this important topic and for congratulating me on my blogging milestone. 🙏🏻


    1. Why, thank you. 🙏🏻 It is much easier for me to write about speaking directly, than it is to speak directly, but, like I wrote, as a work-in-progress, I am doing my best to improve and grow. 🙂 I am happy I brought some relief to your eyes. 😁 Mine needed some relief after staring into the bright sun. 😂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I like the way you evolve. It’s quite inspiring and interesting.. words spill from your mouth like gems that scintillate as they hit the air.
        The sun is brighter because of you 🤗

        Liked by 2 people

      2. One step up, two steps back. 😂 Life and my dance. 🤣 Sometimes I trip over my words when I am stepping, but thank you so much for the love and for finding some gems and for being a gem that sparkles like a thousand suns. 🌞💖

        Liked by 1 person

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