Being Clear

Being Clear means being rigorous about truth in a special way. It has to do with how you share information with others or don’t exchange information as the case may be. Exchanging information is one of the most important aspects of human interaction, particularly when you want to work together with another person, to collaborate, or even merely to engage in simple transactions.

You want others to be honest with you. Like so many things, looking at it solely from your perspective, considering what you need from another person, you don’t think what they might need. Being clear means that you consider both your needs and the needs of the other person when you exchange information. How you get and give information can be complicated, and maybe even legally dicey when you overthink it and try to gain power or a bargaining advantage. So, if you want to be relational, get clear on being clear. How clear do you want to be? Crystal clear.

In Contrast: Being Clear is not:

You will know that you are not clear when:
  • You intentionally provide false information to another person about something important.
  • You receive a request from another person who clearly deserves a response, and you answer with silence.
  • You use apt words to provide information that is so vague or general that it has no value to the other person.
  • You supply information that is intentionally incomplete or evasive in response to requests.
  • You routinely bluff and make false threats or demands.
  • You make false statements that are unverifiable to gain a competitive advantage in negotiations.
  • You make false declarations to garner the alignment of others to your side, your view.
  • You are sarcastic or use pointed 'kidding.'
  • You are false whenever being truthful might cast you in a bad light.
  • You exaggerate claims to a degree where your exaggeration is clear but the truth underlying your statement is not.

What guides you in your decisions to share information or not share it, how much or how little to disclose, and how you use or don’t use ambiguity to your advantage?

Truth in our dealings with others is fundamental to our ability to function as a society. Where truth becomes questionable, trust evaporates. Imagine a community, a workplace, or family where you could not trust any information that you received from others, where you had to confirm and verify any statement that you relied upon. It would grind to a halt. Is success valuable where it requires you to use the coercive power of deception?

Explore Being Clear

A deception that might seem reasonable to the deceiver will look very different through the eyes of the person who is deceived. Why? Because deception is coercive.


Don’t stonewall with silence when information is requested. Silence usually isn’t deceptive, but it is also rarely helpful to the other person. It will inflame suspicion and is a sign of disrespect.