We’re all hiding something. Let’s find the courage to open up

Ash Beckham presents a compelling argument for empathy and openness (TED Talks, 9:22).

LGBT advocate Ash Beckham puts a new spin on the phrase “coming out of the closet,” emphasizing that at one point or another during our lives, we all hide things from those closest to us. Whether it’s a shortcoming, an illness, or bad news, we are all quick to find refuge in our personal closets and avoid difficult conversations. Such conversations are genuinely scary, because they force us to confront others and place ourselves in uncomfortable positions.

Why have we selected this video?
Because Ash Beckham’s message makes a lot of sense in the business world, where empty words, duplicity, and fear of expressing your opinion are common toxins that ultimately poison professional relationships. So how about making a collective effort “to come out of the closet” by abiding by the following three fundamental principles.
1. Be authentic. Defensive stances trigger offensive behaviors. Shed your armor and open up to others in calm, straightforward conversations.
2. Be direct. Tell your truth, and your whole truth. If you only say half of what you mean, people will perceive your position as shaky and changeable.
3. Be unapologetic. There is no reason to apologize for telling your truth. Should the way in which you express yourself hurt someone, you should indeed apologize, but never apologize for your ideas.