I’ve spent many hours on the witness stand testifying in trials. Here’s what I’ve learned about communicating with integrity.
- Make sure you understand the question and take your time answering it.
- Make sure that you and others are talking about the same thing. If your child asks you where he came from and you launch into the birds and the bees and he finally says, “Jimmy’s from Boston and I wanted to know where I came from”, it’s an oops!
- Be aware of the difference between fact and truth. It’s a fact that sixty percent of the one hundred sixteen thousand US troops who died during WWI, died of the Spanish flu. The truth is that the flu was deadlier than the war.
- Don’t let others talk only about the facts. It can distort the truth. A “ballpark answer” is not the truth.
- Keep your emotions in check. Don’t fake it; be prepared. And, for heaven’s sake, know when to stop talking.
Practice these skills to perfection and when you talk, people will listen.
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