I'm rewriting a guideline of professional conduct for my small company. One of the points mentioned requires managers to

Tell it like it is: don't argue that a routine (but necessary) task is beneficial to your team's professional knowledge/ value to convince them of doing it. Instead, publicly acknowledge that there're more important tasks yet these routine ones are necessary.

I realize that "Tell it like it is" is a bit informal. Is there an alternate word/ phrase to it?

  • 1
    "Be blunt" is about as close to being blunt as you can get.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 22, 2018 at 16:35
  • 1
    The extended description doesn't look like telling it like it is. Consider discarding the heading altogether and just start with "don't argue that ...".
    – Lawrence
    Jan 22, 2018 at 16:43
  • How about "Explain the assigned tasks bluntly" and go on from there? Jan 22, 2018 at 17:18
  • For cutting to the chase, 'Address the main point'. 'Not major on minors'. Jan 22, 2018 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


Tell it like it is, is idiomatic and creates a bonding between management and its employees. It's plain simple talk, which people usually appreciate, so the OP could leave it. However, if a more "formal" approach is needed, I'd suggest the following: Be concise and to the point, and

Be honest and direct, do not waste time arguing that a routine task is beneficial to your team's professional knowledge/ value. Instead, acknowledge these routine tasks as being dull but absolutely necessary.

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