What is the difference between speaking the truth and speaking your mind? FILTERS.
That's right...there is a difference and it's all about how you say it, when you say it and to whom you say it. I consider myself to be a very open, honest and upfront person. What you see is what you get and I have a strict policy of "if you ask me I will tell you". However, that doesn't mean I am going to just spew out the first thoughts that come to my head. Being truthful doesn't mean you can say whatever you want with total disregard...you have to have some sort of filter to ensure that you are not blatantly hurting someone's feelings, negatively representing the facts for harm, or just being a plain old bitch (or a-hole for you males out there) for the sake of being one.
There are filters that you must apply to your words before they are delivered. And filters apply to not only the words, the tone and the timing, but to the audience as well. You can say certain things to your spouse and your best of best friend that you need to filter differently to say to a co-worker, professional or casual acquaintance. And to those that think they don't have to...you run a serious risk of being labeled, shut out, and even disrespected in the same fashion that you disrespect others with your comments.
There is still a level of decorum that is required in professional, social and conversational settings and it doesn't matter what level you are in those settings. But, I have noticed that a good portion of those that "speak their mind" are in visible, senior level management positions (CEO, owner, president) and therefore also in the upper financial echelon. These people tend to believe that because they are in the "elite" group, they have the right to say whatever, however they want to whomever they want. As a matter of fact, your self-perceived value/contribution is causing you harm, as well as negatively affecting those around you, and of all people, you should monitor your comments even more closely. At this level, you should be a positive role model and a mentor...you should be going above and beyond to ensure your are projecting an image that can be respected and admired and that you are looked up to for the right reasons.
Speaking your mind and speaking the truth are two different things entirely, and without filters can truly affect how you are dealt with...you choose. Speaking the truth allows you to be sought after for guidance, counsel, advice, and expertise, not to mention friendship and/or companionship. Speaking your mind places you in a position to be tolerated, judged, and shut out.
Thanks for reading!