Mastering The Graceful Art of Directness

Directness is Grace #4 of the 7 Graces of Marketing. But being direct is often equated with aggressiveness. Guest blogger Cindy Barnes shows that Directness is a graceful art, using the best of what makes us human, enabling our communication to flow with greater purpose and less effort.

A beautiful summer’s walk among meadows and trees is wonderful if we have no particular place to go. But if we have a purpose for our journey, we need to take a more direct route.

The same is true of our communications. A direct path doesn’t mean giving up the beauty but it does mean that we exert less energy. Using less energy means we are conserving more of our power. Conserving our power and focusing when we need to, rather than allowing that power dissipate all the time, is what separates successful, well-grounded and happy people from those who always run ragged with never enough time in the day.

That, in a nutshell, summarises why being direct is critically important. When used with grace, Directness gives you potency. ‘Being potent’ means to possess inner strength–to be powerful. With potent communication we exert a strong influence and that increases our control and authority.

Awareness, Intention, Empathy and Creativity

Being ‘gracefully’ direct is about navigating the balance between what you want and what others want. It’s finding the fine balance between passivity and aggression. In other words:

  • It comes from an internal self-knowledge and an external understanding of others, and requires an awareness of both self and others;
  • It requires a setting of intention, so you know where you want to go with your communication;
  • It requires empathy, to ensure you are mindful of how the receiver (your audience) hears what you will say;
  • It requires creativity, to enable you to imagine different options and come up with different ways of expressing what you wish to communicate.

Directness and Self-Belief

The Grace of Directness comes from self-belief. One of the ways to strengthen self-belief is to focus on our core values. When we speak from our values, we know what we stand for. We become a force nobody else can mess with.

Get to know, in minute detail, every aspect of your core values, and give thanks for them daily. Developing gratitude for what you have–rather than dwelling on your weaknesses–helps builds self-confidence.

Cultivating an Attitude of Service

Indirectness often happens when we get too caught up in ourselves and our own desires rather than the needs of other people. If we concentrate on the contribution we’re making to the rest of the world, we won’t worry so much about our personal flaws and short-comings. This increases self confidence, and enables us to be more direct.

Developing this attitude of service allows you to contribute with maximum efficiency. And the more you contribute to the world, the more you’ll be rewarded with personal success and recognition.

Watching and Learning

One of the best ways to cultivate the Grace of Directness is to spend time with others who are direct so you can watch and learn from them. How do they phrase difficult things with spoken words or in writing? How are they decisive and direct with their actions?

Try to find three role models of Directness:

  1. One who is direct in their speaking
  2. One who is direct in their writing
  3. One who is direct in their action

Then, watch and learn from them, and practice applying what you have learned in your own marketing and communication. As you do, ask for feedback from your audience, e.g.: “When I said that, how did it come across to you?” Keep doing this until you’re happy about your level of Directness.

Directness Is Positive Energy

Directness has a quality of positive energy to it. Direct words and action are energetic and purposeful. So if you find yourself feeling listless and a bit slow, you’re probably not being very direct.

When you find yourself in this situation, make a conscious effort to raise your energy levels. It might be as simple as getting up out of your chair and purposefully walking around the room. Do whatever works for you to consciously raise your energy levels. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

Summary – The Beauty of Directness

Directness in our communication leads to clarity, and clarity to simplicity. When we communicate with simplicity, we conserve our precious energy and make the best use of our words and actions. This positive energy heightens our natural awareness, empathy and creativity. The conscious intention we set brings us power and self-confidence by helping us focus on the service we wish to provide, rather than on personal gain.

None of these attributes requires or expresses aggression. Rather, Directness is a graceful, mindful art that makes our communication effective, understandable, straightforward and honest. Surely, these are qualities to which all marketers (or anyone) should actively aspire.

~ Cindy Barnes
13 April 2013

CINDY BARNES is a business and psychology consultant for organisations and a counsellor in Transactional Analysis. Her background is in product and service innovation, marketing, business development and leadership. Cindy is the founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Futurecurve at Contact Cindy at and come meet her at the 7 Graces community on Facebook.


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Lynn Serafinn author of The 7 Graces of MarketingLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the top 20 of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.




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One Response to Mastering The Graceful Art of Directness

  1. Mica May says:

    Thanks Cindy.
    This is a really useful description of the use of the Grace of Directness

Comments are closed.