The difference between being honest and being a dick

When working on a project, I tend to have a very direct approach. I don’t like wasting time on small talk or pleasing some board of a company. If someone in a project is wasting my time, not doing a good job or taking the energy and momentum out of a project, I’ll let them know.

The reason why there aren’t that many people really honest or direct is because most people don’t know the difference between being honest and being a dick. It’s hard to make the distinction because the message you’re bringing is the same in both cases. Being honest without acting like an asshole lies in the art of knowing how to tell a story, not so much in what the message is.

The best way to lead a project towards a success story (which is only possible if you are honest and are able to keep your partners motivated) is by treating the people you’re working with like you treat your friends. So go ahead, talk freely, tell them if they said something stupid and accept criticism when you say something stupid. Just don’t act like an asshole.

Being a sarcastic, unfriendly, cynical person might be considered cool for a while, but in the end it’s not the best way to make or keep friends. The same goes for your work. Be honest, don’t be a dick.


About leyssensjan

Jan Leyssens is a designer and entrepreneur who strongly believes you can’t turn sustainability into a positive story if your main focus is on negative impact. When designing, he is always looking for the overlap between activism and entrepreneurship, technology and community. His main expertise lies in strategic business model development, Circular Economy, the makermovement, and social innovation. With a background in Industrial Design, Jan quickly shifted his focus towards business design and using the design process in strategic management. Jan is the father of two kids and founder & CEO of Regenerative Design, co-founder of Full Circle, ImpactBoost, and the Circular Design map, podcaster, storyteller, and changemaker.

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