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Open Honesty


Techniques > Conversation techniques > Building Rapport > Open Honesty

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Be open about yourself, your feelings and what you have done. When asked, tell the truth, even it is embarrassing. Do not make excuses for your weaknesses, just speak your truth.

Be careful about exposing yourself too much, too early in the relationship. Reveal yourself a step at a time and roughly at the same rate as the other person.

Use personal truths to gently encourage the other person to also expose themselves, or just to stimulate normal conversation.

Openess can also include disagreement. When others express views with which you disagree, you can quietly state your disagreement with the view (whilst carefully not rejecting the person).


 I know that it is politically incorrect to enjoy hunting these days but I don't really see anything wrong with it. What do you think?

To tell you the truth, I don't go like crowds because I'm claustrophobic. Being pressed in makes me freak out.

Actually I'm hopeless at spelling. I never did well in school because of it.

I can't say I agree with you there. I know she can be loud but I think she's actually quite soft underneath.


When you expose a vulnerability to another person, you are offering them a way to criticize or attack you. In this way you are showing that you trust them not to attack. By being trusting, you encourage them to be trustworthy and trusting in return.

It is important to be careful when exposing vulnerabilities as you can embarrass others and make them feel they should be open in return when they are not ready to do so. This is why you should start small and only tell more when they do likewise.

Openness indicates confidence that you will not be attacked and can be a tacit indicator of power. In effect you are saying 'I am so powerful I can admit weaknesses or express views because I can repel all criticism or attack.'

Open disagreement is also helpful in creating rapport as it also encourages trust by saying 'I know you understand we well enough not to take this in the wrong way.' Of course this needs a lot of care in accepting the person whilst rejecting their argument.

See also


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