I realize that this post may be my most controversial post ever due to my sharpness. But I am going to say it and post it any way. Most managers that lack the guts to provide honest and difficult feedback might very well be doing it because they are selfish, not because they care. I have heard many managers I have consulted with over the years say something like "I just don't want to hurt their feelings." Or, it will be really hard for him or her to take." Nonsense! Most of you who use that as an excuse are doing it because you don't want to go through the pain of someone thinking less of you, rather than you wanting to save them pain.
So stop making excuses and begin to care. Truly caring about others means you will do the difficult things from time to time because you know it is best. It is also a matter of personal integrity – adhering to what is best for those you lead. Great leaders care more about the person than how that person views them. True leaders must be magnanimous (a word for the day). Meaning to show courage, being great of heart and soul, one who faces danger and trouble with tranquility and firmness.
Next time you are lacking the courage to give the difficult feedback delve into the real reason behind it. All of us need feedback. Without it we lack proper improvement. So think more about others than yourself if that is the reason you won't provide it. Gird up your loins and take courage!
In your dealing with managers and leaders have you found this to be the case? Or are there other reasons behind not providing difficult feedback? I am interested in discussing. Please comment below.
See my related post from last week Can Kindness and Toughness Co-Exist in Leadership? and Do you believe leaders ought to be kind? Does kindness matter? Make sure to read all of the comments as well, there are some really insightful ones.
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