There’s too much indirectness out there.

There’s too much bullshit.

There’s too much fear around presenting your flaws, your faults, your inexperience, and your true feelings.

Should you always lay everything bare? Of course not. You shouldn’t be blogging about every little doubt that crops into your head. There’s a difference between being open and having no filter.

It’s that difference that people seem to miss. How do you present a strategic persona, and still be authentic?

##Making Emotional Openness Work in Business

Dane Maxwell, co-founder of the annual entrepreneurial course The Foundation, started off writing websites for businesses.

He went in to meet with a prospect, and after negotiating and clarifying the project, the prospect signed Dane’s proposal and became a client.

Dane audibly “whooped” when that line was signed.

He later asked this first client what went through his head when he had signed the proposal and his new freelancer had whooped out loud.

Did he immediately regret his decision? Did he look down on Dane?

No. He was glad that he had someone who was that excited to work for him.

##Bullshit Detectors

Dane’s story isn’t suggesting you should “whoop” as a tactic. If you do, I guarantee you’ll get a weird look.

It worked for Dane because that was how he felt. The client had already detected those emotions subconsciously, because humans are built to do that. Therefore, he had already signed the deal knowing there was a “whoop” inside Dane. That’s why it didn’t hurt the deal when he expressed it.

People’s bullshit detectors are so finely-tuned, evolutionary psychologists are saying they are why we can fool ourselves so easily. We might have evolved the ability to trick ourselves into believing something despite opposing evidence because sometimes that’s the only way to get others to believe us. If we knew something wasn’t true and tried to sell it as such, people will know. But if we truly believe it ourselves, it has much more chance of getting through.

Again, I’m not saying to lay your emotions bare all the time. You need to be able to control yourself. But if you are needing to hide how you feel all the time, you can be sure of two things:

  1. People are picking up on it, despite your best efforts.
  2. You’re probably in a situation that’s bad for you, and you should find a way to get out.

If you’re happy about what you’re doing, and you’re striving to help others, then showing your true feelings is probably going to help you.

##Business is Social. Honesty is Socially Powerful.

In the following talk, David Tian (PhD) presents his case for Honesty as a Cornerstone of Attraction. The presentation is geared towards men who want to be better with women, but notice what he says at the beginning of this clip:

When I discovered the power of honesty and being geniune, it really took my social life to the next level.

Not just sexual life. Social life. That’s because whenever any humans interact, it’s relaxing when they can sense there’s no pretence, no indirect agenda that’s being hidden from view.

Click on the playback bar to view the whole talk.

If you’re in business to screw people over, then you’re going to need to hide things, manipulate, and be indirect a lot of the time.

If you’re in business to help people, relax and open up.