This topic has presented itself on more than one occasion last week so I have been reflecting on human behaviour. I have a tendency to want to know the “why” of everything so my overanalytical mind has been at play.
What has ever happened to honesty particularly when it comes to providing feedback? What stops you from being completely honest with someone?
I get it. We are Canadians and we are nice, eh? We don’t like to ruffle feathers or hurt feelings.
Honesty is not about hurting feelings but sometimes this can be the result.
Last week I sat in front of a manager and provided some honest, constructive feedback in a non-threatening and non-judgmental manner. The intention was to help this manager become a better leader. His behaviour was negatively impacting the work environment and after receiving several complaints, this information needed to be relayed to the manager.
So what happened next? The manager was angry. Angry at me for relaying this message but was the anger really directed at me personally? No, absolutely not. However, if I did not have the ability to separate myself from the situation, I would have taken this as a personal attack.
People say they want honesty but do they? We skirt around issues all the time to “save face” and then when we are honest, our egos get in the way. We don’t know how to handle it. We get defensive rather than see it as an opportunity to improve.
Too many times I have sat across from managers who have an expectation for their employees that is not being met but yet cannot provide honest and constructive feedback to the employee. The manager fails to articulate the expectation and then is annoyed when the employee continues this behaviour pattern.
What is the definition of doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results? I know it drives me insane to watch it so why do we operate that way?
Hard conversations can be challenging. No doubt but what if that feedback changed that person forever? For the better! What if that feedback developed this employee so much, their performance went from average to stellar?
What if that one piece of advice had a lasting impact? What if the person did not know they were doing something wrong?
Sometimes I am brutally honest but this is not done out of evil but for the greater good. I am always reaching for the stars to make the world a bit brighter and sometimes we need to shine a light on what is not working in order to foster all that is good. That takes a bit of courage, tenacity, boldness and sometimes, a bit of risk taking.
Every morning I go to the barn to feed the horses and cows. Every morning, I shovel some manure to make sure the animals stay clean, dry and comfortable.
Isn’t it about time we remove a bit of sh*t out of our own lives and stop dancing around the truth?
Just call me the no bullsh*t coach who coaches from the barn! Want to know more? Horses are my partners and they have a no bullsh*t meter as well so if you are ready to get real with your life, I invite you to contact me at email@example.com.
I am an experienced business woman, a certified leadership and life coaching and possess an MBA concentration in Human Resources.