This month, we’re looking into the theme of speaking the hard truth. So when I was thinking to myself who would be a great person to talk to about it, my friend Mark Silver immediately came to mind.
Mark runs a company called Heart of Business, which is really about bringing spiritually grounded marketing and business advice to people who want to run a small business in a way that isn’t slimy or insincere. I’m constantly impressed by Mark’s ability to speak the hard truth, but in a way that feels compassionate and heartfelt.
In this interview, Mark and I discuss:
- How our emotions influence our perception of what’s really happening around us
- Why it’s important to become an active observer in heated situations, rather than a participant
- The role of compassion in having a “hard conversation”
- The importance of expressing your deeper needs in a difficult conversation, and translating that into a clear request
- Why vulnerability is necessary to have a genuine meeting of equals
- The fact that truth without compassion isn’t truth
(Scroll down for more in-depth podcast notes.)
Listen to my interview with Mark Silver.
0:00:00: Mark elaborates on his company, Heart of Business, and how they help thousands of micro-business owners and self-employed people run their businesses from the heart while still being profitable. Then he and Michael delve into how to start difficult conversations with staff, customers or clients. Mark notes that our emotions influence our perception of what’s really happening around us, and that it’s important to address those emotions before telling the “hard truth.”
0:05:03: Mark emphasizes the benefits of waiting before launching into tough conversations, to avoid being too reactive. He and Michael discuss the importance of becoming an active observer in heated situations, rather than a participant. They also touch on the significant role compassion plays in successfully carrying out difficult conversations.
0:10:00: Michael and Mark explore the idea that most people aren’t acting out of malice, but that individuals often project their own emotions onto situations while failing to account for the other person’s circumstances, which leads to misinterpretation. Before telling the “hard truth,” it’s beneficial to try to distinguish between data (what actually happened) and judgments (why you think it happened).
0:15:00: Mark elaborates on the idea that, during tough conversations, people should community their needs. He adds that it’s important to translate those needs into a clear request.
0:20:01: Michael and Mark talk about the notion that a true meeting of equals is only possible when both parties show vulnerability. Mark points out that, when it comes speaking the hard truth, there is no truth without compassion.
0:25:00: Mark concludes that truth and compassion must be combined in order to be effective. He directs listeners to HeartofBusiness.com for more information on his work.