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Aug 01 2014
Say YES when you mean YES
Tyler Steenblik, CCE, Young Electric Sign Company

You are in the office on a typical day. The phone is going nutso and people are constantly in and out asking for help with different items. The next man in your office has a reasonable request. He has been asking for your help for some time now and you just haven't had the time to look at it.

We all find ourselves in these situations. The thousand dollar question is --- what do you tell this man? Do you say, "I will jump on this right away," knowing that he is really still about 8th on the list of your priorities, or do you tell him that he is just out of luck for another day or so?

Let's change the situation. You call for payment to the customer, AGAIN. He tells you that you will have a check in the mail today. Although you know he is a good man, you know that he is in too deep and burning the candle at both ends. There is no way that you are his top priority. Would you rather him tell you the truth that the check isn't coming this week, or do you want to waste more time following up again in three days due to the unkept commitment?

In many ways these two situations are the same. We want to be told the truth and we must be willing to tell the truth.

Consider several reasons to say what you mean:

Personal Integrity - When you tell someone, "I'll get right on it," you often know that it's not going to happen. You not only give yourself more stress and have to continue juggling more items, but your inner self knows that you aren't being truthful. It's better to say, "I want to help but to be honest with you, I cannot get your information until I get these other things done. Please get with me next Tuesday."

Conflict Management - We often shy away from our true opinion to avoid the aftermath. Taking the necessary time to explain the situation and why you feel the way you do will help you be able to explain your opinion without conflict. Put another way, Stephen Covey didn't only preach the concept of, "Seek to understand." He followed that concept with, "... then to be understood." You have everything to gain by taking the risk.

Time Efficiency - Giving people false expectations actually hurts the cause of being too busy. It stacks up things on the "To Do" list that shouldn't be there. Instead, solicit some help to get the work load completed or tell the person that you are simply not able to help them at this time.

Consideration to Others - Just like you would rather be told the truth, suck it up and be truthful to others as well. Obviously the message will not be received favorably all the time. That is the price to pay. People will appreciate your honesty and will learn that you can be trusted.

Because You Simply Know Better - Your mommy taught you to be truthful. It is simply the best way to go. 

Keep a notepad with you for a week and make a note when you recognize that what you said isn't really what you meant or what you know to be the case. Then review the list and take some time to review how you should have handled the situation. As you focus on this issue you will start to catch yourself in these situations and can choose to be more forthright and honest in what you say.

As a credit professional you expect people to be honest and direct with you. With some focus and hard work, you will find how much more honest you can be. That's a goal we can all work toward!