(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


When we say someone is slick we usually don’t mean it as a complement. Why is that?

It’s usually because the term slick has become associated with people who demonstrate a veneer of feigned sincerity, an in-authenticity that is communicated at a subconscious level. Their slickness is typically to hide some fear they have — a fear that you will find out what they are really like, a fear that you won’t fill some need they have, or perhaps a fear of rejection.

So slick is ego-based, comes from a belief in scarcity and demonstrates a low self-esteem.

Smooth, on the other hand, is the by-product of a strong personal foundation. You are complemented as someone who is smooth when you have sufficient reserves so that you are not attached to an outcome, when you have mastered your topic, when you have effective communications skills and when you enjoy being with people just because you enjoy being with them rather than needing them.

Idea – make a list of people who you see as smooth and another list of slick people and write down the characteristics of each category.


Coaching Point: What can you change in yourself to become smooth?


Copyright 1996 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.