How do we know if our speech is constructive or destructive? Truth isn’t the only factor. The way truth is communicated is also important.
Is what you’re communicating and the way you’re communicating it likely to set the other person free, or cause them to entrench further?
That’s what it means to “speak the truth in love”. It doesn’t mean you always have to be gentle, but you do have to be aware of your communication style. You can’t merely say whatever you feel like saying in the moment and then wonder why someone is upset by it.
We have to try to see from the other person’s perspective and then present our own perspective in a non-threatening way. In a way that is likely to liberate rather than shut down.
Listen first, speak later. Listen for a long time. Ask questions. Understand empathetically. Then respond.
Originally published on my personal blog LivingWithConfidence.net