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<xTITLE>Nothing but the truth: Radical Honesty Movement Proposes A World Without Deception</xTITLE>

Nothing but the truth: Radical Honesty Movement Proposes A World Without Deception

by Diane J. Levin

From Online Guide to Mediation

Diane J. Levin
They say that honesty is the best policy.

But given the lengths to which people will go to avoid confrontation or tough conversations, honesty may be the first casualty in human interaction.

Besides, is lying really always wrong? What if it serves noble ends? Isn't deception just a social lubricant, allowing us to get along? Shouldn't we lie to prevent harm to another? If lying is always wrong, then are studies in human behavior ethically indefensible? What about undercover police work? Or the bluffing, puffery, and lowballing that can characterize negotiations? The truth will set you free(And let's not even get started on deception in mediation.) Despite what we tell our children about lies, deception may be indispensable.

But a movement known as Radical Honesty proposes instead that the truth will set us free: it calls for no-holds-barred, "direct, open and honest conversation" as the best way to build meaningful relationships.

Journalist A.J. Jacobs recently took up the challenge. In "I Think You're Fat", an article from the July issue of Esquire, he describes his experiment in Radical Honesty and its impact on his work and personal life. Jacobs discovers one upside: "One of the best parts of Radical Honesty is that I'm saving a whole lot of time. It's a cut-to-the-chase way to live." The downside? Radical Honesty can be downright cruel. An acquaintance recovering from a recent tragic loss seeks Jacobs' professional advice on poetry he's written. Jacobs cannot bring himself to tell the truth: the poetry stinks. When faced with a choice between honesty or compassion, Jacobs opts for compassion.

Read Jacobs' essay and ask yourself what choices you might make yourself. It'll leave you thinking--and that's no lie.

Biography


Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property issues, and serves on numerous mediation panels, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Training and coaching are an enduring passion -- she has taught thousands of people to resolve conflict, negotiate better, or become mediators -- from Croatian judges to Fortune 500 executives.

 

A geek at heart, Levin consults on web design and social media to professionals.  She blogs about ADR at the intersection of law, science, and popular culture at the award-winning MediationChannel.com, regarded as one of the world's top ADR blogs.  She also tracks and catalogues ADR blogs world-wide at ADRblogs.com, where she has created a community for bloggers writing about constructive ways to resolve disputes.

 

web site: http://dianelevin.com



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