Hurt to help…

Today, during a hard, virtuous team practice, one teammate in particular was given some difficult feedback. He had a hard time hearing what was said. He heard that he was being singled out and unfairly so to boot. He didn’t hear me attempt to lessen his hurt by making sure I hit a couple of his peers. He hurt. His emotional reaction confirmed his feelings – he went down and then he went down further.

Not good.

Leaders, you cannot simply wear your emotions on your sleeve. You cannot claim you’re being authentic when you react sadly and slowly to bad news. Newsflash – your team doesn’t really care how you’re feeling. Your team expects you to lead well, anyway. Today, a leader heard he tends to go all “Eor” when dealing with his day to day realities. I hit him with this truth and his teammates confirmed my finding. Funny, it’s usually me initiating the obvious truth telling in the room. Funny, huh…

You see, most humans hold back hitting tough topics or hurting people. They think they’re being caring by pulling punches and allowing their teammates to miss out on hearing hard truth. Funny, these same humans have a boiling point where suddenly they are ready to hit and hit hard. Rarely are these moments met with anything but the Heisman. So, hit early and often my virtuous teammate/leader. Your feedback is best delivered in the moment and as a matter of fact, not frustration. Today, I challenged a teammate out of my belief that he can be so much better. He didn’t take it well, but he took it. Calmly, consistently, and caring is the aim for your delivery. Your problem, most likely, is you know this. You just believe too much in hope. You hope someone else will deliver it. You hope somehow your teammate will get it on their own. You hope the whole thing will just go away. You hope.

Hope is not a strategy, leader. Help is. Your job is to help your teammate hear the truth, sometimes it’s really hard truth too. Sometimes you’ve got to hurt to help. Fact. So, my recipe for building has been to hit hard but never attack from the back. Don’t be afraid to hurt to help. The aim, remember, is to make your teammate whole. Whole hearted so they can give their committed best, beside you.

Hurt to help. Heal. Whole hearted aim. Hard. Good…

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