Honesty is subjective. It is the truth of the person sharing it. It isn’t always your truth, nor
should it be. Being honest with others is always a good thing, but it doesn’t mean that all
parties must come to an agreement and adopt one form of truth. So, what do you do
when you don’t agree with someone else’s opinion?
Here are some best practices.
● Thank them for their input.
● Consider what they said.
● Remain calm and non-reactive.
● Consult others if needed.
● Make the decision that is ultimately in your best interest.
✓Thanks, but no thanks- Hearing someone out is perfectly appropriate. Listening to
the opinions and honesty of others has value. It doesn’t mean you have to adopt their
frame of mind. Thanking others for their honesty is always the best policy.
✓Think about it- Even if your immediate reaction is negative, give their thoughts some
consideration. Is your ego defending an accusation or suggestion? Sleep on the
information and consider if what they say how merit.
✓Don’t let them see you sweat- If the information they are sharing is uncomfortable,
try to keep your feelings in check. Defensiveness, shock, and upset are often easy to
spot. Do your best to stay neutral until you have time to consider what they said.
✓Get an opinion- If you wonder if the honesty has value or not, consider asking for
another opinion. If you find consensus, perhaps you want to consider what is being said.
✓Do you, Boo Boo- If you know deep down that you are making the best decision for
yourself, do what is in your best interest. There are many reasons why someone would
or would not follow honesty or advice. Ultimately you need to make your own decisions.
● Be defensive.
● Make excuses.
● Deflect attention.
● Say something you’ll regret.
● Forget you have the final say.
✓You don’t have to defend yourself- If you feel attacked or misunderstood, it might
feel normal to try to defend yourself. If the other person is out in left field with their
honesty, decide if sharing an alternative point of view will bring you closer or cause a
bigger rift. Choose wisely and avoid being defensive.
✓Making excuses won’t help- If you’ve stepped in it or have been caught off guard by
someone’s honesty, don’t make excuses. Simply thank them for their input and let them
know you’ll consider what they have said. If they are looking for confrontation, you can
diffuse the situation by not making excuses.
✓Don’t deflect attention- Being confronted causes a fight or flight reaction. Don’t
deflect the attention onto someone or something else. It can make you look like you
aren’t approachable or taking ownership of the situation. If you disagree, focus on
ending the conversation with the intent to consider the honesty and make a final
✓Watch what you say- Keeping your head when you feel confronted or disagree with
someone’s truth is very important. You may regret what you say in the heat of the
moment. Do your best to stay levelheaded.
✓You’ve got the final word- Whether in the conversation at hand or privately as you
make your final decision, you have the final say in how you manage someone’s
honesty. Don’t let emotions create a problem where there doesn’t need to be one.
Managing someone else’s honesty when you don’t agree with it can be hard. Just
remember to keep your cool and stay focused and you will be able to get through a
tough conversation with grace and ease.