It’s amazing what people will confide in you when you lead with something as simple as, “Please be honest – I promise I won’t be offended.”
The simple phrase opens up an entire new world of conversation for the person, allowing them the freedom to release the floodgates of their truthful self. It penetrates through the barrier of formalities and “bush-beating” to get right to the heart of the matter.
Yes, it will probably sting a bit to hear what the other person has to say when the invitation to be honest is presented. However, growth can only happen when this moment happens.
More importantly, it can only happen if you’re willing to listen.