When Times Get Tough, Communicate the Truth

One of the first things I learned in business is to be up front and honest to your suppliers and vendors during tough times.

What will being honest and up front do for you? Among other things it allows you to build a reputation in business that you can carry with you for the rest of your career.

Many folks are afraid or paralyzed by situations that occur in business, whether they are under their control or out of their control. When times get tough or tight, communication and telling the truth are imperative to solidify the bond in a relationship. Though the people at the receiving end of the message may not be happy with the communication, at least they know the truth – then they can make good decisions based on what they know.

Recently a former colleague called me to ask if we could sit down and talk through some business issues he was having. After listening intently, it was obvious to me that he had a lot of anxiety because of these issues. He had not met his forecast for the first three quarters of 2012 and he was beginning to dig a hole for himself and his business. He owed his vendors a hefty sum of money. The good news was that he had every intention to pay them, and that his sales had begun to grow again. He could see a light at the end of the tunnel, especially with the holiday season approaching.

What was paralyzing him was the fact that he had never been late on a payment to any of these vendors before and was totally dependent upon on them for his future success.

I suggested to him that he take the weekend to create a list of the most important vendors he needed to communicate with, while also scripting out a true account of what was happening in his business and what the future looked like.

I assured him it was not going to be easy, but once he accomplished that, he would feel better about himself and the position he was in.

The following week he called me to report on how the conversations were received. He told me that although not everyone was pleased to hear what he had to say, the majority were glad that he had called and was honest about the current state of affairs. Some even went as far as to say they had the utmost confidence in him and would extend terms that were necessary to give him the best shot at success.

He told me that he felt like a new man. That the past week he felt beaten down and paralyzed, and now he felt rejuvenated and was ready to fight the fight.

Are you in a similar position? Have you been holding back on communication whether in business or in some form of your life? If you really want to get energized, make it a habit of being truthful and communicating. It is the best way to run your life.

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