“I assume this meeting is not going to be about being nice or getting along. Do you agree?”
It was late in the day. I was tired. My throat was sore. My body ached. My head was pounding. If a contentious subject was to come up, I knew it would be difficult to be politically correct. “Sure. Given how I feel, I can guarantee that I will be candid, direct, and probably blunt.”
“Good. I like meetings that way.”
“Really? So do I.”
I had no idea where this introduction was going to take us. The next comment introduced me to what would follow.
“In our last conversation, I did not come away thinking that you understood the context of where this technology platform first in the payments process. If you understand, be patient with me. I want to walk you through the specifics of how we interface with the clearing system.”
I thought I understood but I was willing to let a candid conversation unfold. The next few pages were rather basic yet I could see that we were building a solid foundation for the discussion to follow.
Far too often, I find myself thinking that I have to be correct. I am not talking about facts. I am talking about politically correct, superficial agreement, and a façade. In many situations, social gatherings as a good example, I know this is helpful. Easy conversations are usually more enjoyable. They can be a good first step. I do know that they are never the last if one wants to make progress.
History is filled with wise men and women speaking with candor. What follows is not always positive. In one situation, “Paul shot back, ‘God will slap you down! What a fake you are! You sit there and judge me by the Law and then break the Law by ordering me slapped around!’” (Acts 23.3) If anything positive was going to come out of the situation, truth needed a seat at the table. Even with it, nothing was guaranteed.
Today will have new conversations requiring candor.