The truth will set you free. If you can handle it.

A Few Good Men is one of our favorite movies. There’s a lot to learn from it.

  • Tom Cruise can’t play softball.
  • Kevin Bacon can’t play softball (according to Tom Cruise) or basketball for that matter (according to our own eyes).
  • There are people who can confuse oregano for marijuana.
  • None of us can handle the truth.

That last one you probably remember most from the movie’s most iconic scene. But…there’s a line that comes before it that says more about Colonel Jessup than about Kaffee’s ability to HANDLE THE TRUTH. Here’s that scene:

(The line you’re looking for starts about 1:41. Ends about 10 seconds later.)

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If you watched the whole scene, you may have noticed things got testy after Kaffee suggests the court recorder read back Jessup’s own words. To which Colonel Jessup replies, “I know what I said, I don’t have to have it read back to me…”

So what’s the lesson here?

Part 1: We’re a little over-confident in what we communicate. Resulting in saying something contradictory, unintentional or just confusing.

Part 2: It can be tough to listen to how others explain who we are, what we do and how to get what we have. So we’d rather not hear it.

That takes me to Community IQ. At Crowd Hub, we started Community IQ for a few reasons. A big one though is most of us are just really bad at connecting what we do with what people want, the role they play and how they can get others involved. Here’s why:

  • We assume we know what people want versus doing the work to ask.
  • We over value what we do and how we do it.
  • We underestimate why people say no to us.
  • We tend to ignore the obvious.

So what role does Community IQ play? A bunch. One of those is by sharing honest feedback that may hurt a little. Not just honest. Candid. You can tell a lot about a leader based on how they respond in those moments. So the next time someone plays back what you say or describes their experiences – respond with action and not, “I know my truth.”