Last week I wrote a post – “Don’t hurt people’s feelings”. Life and leadership are full of contradictions – or “paradoxes”. If we go around never wanting to hurt someone’s feelings then we will never tell someone they aren’t doing well. Let’s face it, if someone told you you weren’t doing well, it would hurt your feelings, right?
Leadership is having the right touch; knowing when to employ what voice and what words.
Certainly, we don’t go around making people feel small, belittling people, making them feel they aren’t in the clique, aren’t worthy, are less, glaring at them and talking down to them. At the same time, we have to tell the truth. (Be damn sure you know the truth before you open your mouth!)
If the truth is going to hurt a little, we can use it as an opportunity to build someone. We can use the right voice and words and tell them we believe they can do better. We can take the rap for our part (not training, communicating, empowering, letting it go so long), and we can give them the tools and training to do better. But we have to tell it how it is, or how we see it.
Not hurting anyone’s feelings at all might be a nice ride for all until the train comes off the tracks completely. Telling the truth in the right way takes priority over not hurting anyone’s feelings.
Not telling the truth leads to delusion, bad bahavior and long term problems – in your organization, family, and in a country.