"Though the whole world grumble, I will speak my mind." – Cicero
The fourth covenant of the Visionmaker's Code is Be Honest and Direct.
Perhaps of the covenants we have covered to date, this is the one that may most radically depart from current social conventions.
We live in a world of "spin." Spin is a creative presentation of facts that are designed to influence and persuade others to see things in a particular way– usually, more favourably or to mask a deeper truth that does not want to be made visible. It is a form of social lying.
In Visionmaking, spin is known as sorcery. Sorcery is the misuse of power to deceive, manipulate or control others.
A Visionmaker is not a politician, bending words to serve popularity or to gain support for some agenda. He or she says what they mean in plain language, and does what they say they will do.
Authentic communication is an act of personal integrity and character. It is a stand that one takes to uphold "the practice of steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or standards."
Of course, the fourth covenant is balanced by the second: Do No Harm. To review this covenant, please refer to my Post of February 23rd.
Being forthright and doing no harm are not mutually exclusive, as we might assume. A Visionmaker speaks his or her truth in a way that maintains integrity and respects that powerful words carry impact.
Angeles Arrien, the cultural anthropologist and author, provides guidance in this regard:
"Skillful communication means we have aligned content, meaning and context. Blunt communication is an announcement of great content, but poor timing and context. Confused communication often carries good timing and context but poor content, and leads to incongruity between our words and our behavior."
Visionmakers speak from the heart. It is the source of their words and their actions.
Until we return to the heart, and learn to be honest, direct and compassionate with our communication, we will continue to suffer from a global crisis of integrity.
© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.