3 Reasons the Hard Truth is Good News

“I’m always very honest, sometimes to a fault.” Jennifer grins.

A firm believer in truthfulness, Jennifer has a way of stating the honest truth without ceremony. Her tone is matter-of-fact, her delivery is forthright and always accompanied with a sincere smile. “I’m carefully honest.” 

Whether it’s about budgets or timelines, Jennifer is direct and clear, and generally, people are grateful for that. Jennifer does a lot of this honest-speak, and is more comfortable with it now more than ever after years of practice and payoff.

Jennifer shares a few examples of how being the bearer of the hard truth is good news for your project.

1. You see a negative feature, but from a different angle it may be a positive one.

I once had a residential project without a basement. At first this was a real disappointment to my client and a fair one considering the lost square footage and safety measures a basement can offer. 

On the other hand, when shed in a different light, the lack of a basement actually added value to the house. “Many neighboring homes within a 5 mile square radius of the property had been plagued with flooding problems.” This knowledge and truthfulness led the homeowner to think differently about the house, now thankful for a dry home.

2. You want it all, but addressing limits may be in your favor.

“What you want and what your house can do are not in sync with each other.” This was the hard truth Jennifer found herself sharing with a homeowner interested renovating a kitchen. After reviewing the project vision and goals against the space, infrastructure and budget of this kitchen and client, Jennifer found herself again having, “the hard conversation of: I’m about to tell you what you don’t want to hear.”

Turns out people really appreciate that kind of honesty. Think of the time, money and heartache that are saved with that level of forthrightness. Most would prefer to be redirected in the early stages of design than after your kitchen is torn apart and you’re eating options are limited to take-out or heading to your in-laws again.

3. You have dreams, but they’re different than you first envisioned.

Imagine you’re standing in a Jack and Jill bath between two kids rooms. In your peripheral vision you see pink, yellow, green, orange and purple. “How will it feel to see all those colors together?” Jennifer asks. “I kinda think it looks like a box of popsicles.” This isn’t want this client was going for, so they modified the color palette to include three colors instead of five or six.

In this case, there was so much happening in this client’s vision, we just needed to pare it down a little to make it work. The dream isn’t lost, it’s refined.