I had a great conversation this weekend with a very talented woman who felt she needed to become better at "sugar coating" things so folks would listen more.
This made me think... I've seen both pure candor and "spin" help someone take advice or hear a new idea with a more open mind. But really, isn't candor what we're seeking most often?
Perhaps we associate straight talk with being "pushy" or "bossy" or just sometimes serving no one's interests but those of the speaker.
It's all in how you are trying to share information. If you present information from the point of view of your audience, you have a great chance of getting their agreement - even if you are telling it to them 'straight'.
For example: "You should read these books - they'll give you the insight you're missing" could change to "I've found some great books that might offer some insight into this issue."
Move from the directive and the blunt to the direct and the considerate. That's not sugar coating; that's just making sure everyone at the conversation still has a voice!