//Fear freezes your ability to be straightforward

Fear freezes your ability to be straightforward

2018-09-13T15:39:43+00:00

Why do we lose sight of the importance of being straightforward and honest?

Quality & Me

Subir shares short stories about what people do to make a difference everywhere they go. We can make huge contributions to the way we function as a society by standing out as an example within our own community: at work, at our places of worship, among our colleagues, friends, and family. All it takes is the courage to step up and being straightforward, thoughtful, accountable, and resilient.

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Books by Subir

The Power of LEO
The Ice Cream Maker
The Power of Design for Six
The Power of Six Sigma
Organization 21c

Think about it:  when we are scared, nervous, or afraid, we shut out the outside world.  We become less open and transparent.

Instead of accepting our true selves, and admitting that we are afraid, we put up a wall designed to keep out the truth.  We make things up to compensate—about how good-looking we are, about how clever or competent we believe ourselves to be, about how much money we make. We lose sight of the importance of being straightforward and honest. Fear can undermine openness and honesty in anyone—including me!

Like many parents, I tend to think my children should be perfect. Take my daughter, for example.  She’s a typical teenager.  I sometimes forget that she is a far better person than I was when I was at her age. I can be demanding.  In fact, at one point I didn’t think she was working hard enough and let her know.  As a result, she withdrew from me.  She put up a wall. The truth was, I was the problem.  I was afraid that she might not be all she could be.  But my approach just made things worse!  When I realized how negative I was being, I had to remind myself to have a caring mindset.

Here’s what I did.  I invited my daughter to go for a walk and talk.  And you know what—we had a great time and an even better discussion!  I realized how much she had accomplished and that I could learn as much from her, as she could from me.  I was no longer afraid that she might not be all she could be. The wall between began to crumble because neither of us as afraid to be straightforward. When she understood why I was so exasperated with her, she opened up about her own hopes, dreams, and yes—mistakes.  Fear had driven us from each other.  Honesty brought us back together.

What walls have you built because you are afraid?

How to make everyone a S.T.A.R.

One company had a return that equaled 5 times the cost of their investment in the program. Another company had a return that equaled 100 times the cost of their investment! It’s a true story. I know, because both companies were clients of my firm. Both companies got a return on their investment, but I still felt both frustrated and perplexed that one had done so much better. The reason for the difference kept puzzling me—why would one company do so much better using the same processes?

Stop playing games and start gaining trust

A caring mindset is critical to your success, and the success of your organization. And it starts with being straightforward. Being straightforward means you can be tough and exacting, but also honest, direct, candid, transparent, and fair. Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? Not always. Let me share a story with you.

When has pride pushed you back?

Pride exists at the organizational level and can just as easily become tainted.  Think about it.  How many times have you witnessed senior level executives not acknowledging a problem? The reason?  Pride.  Ego.  They don’t want to admit that there is a problem because of ego:  someone else will think they’re weak, or that they’ll lose face.  To admit your decision was wrong means you are weak, correct?  Absolutely the opposite!

A musician that made a difference

One of the most memorable days of my life was meeting my favorite musician, Pandit Ravi Shankar, the legendary Sitar Maestro. Nearly half a century earlier, George Harrison of The Beatles traveled to India to learn sitar from him. A friendship formed, and it reshaped aspects of The Beatles music. Likewise, Ravi’s music had a huge impact on my own life.