Truer not tougher is magic. I believe people, including me, have struggled to hit people with hard truth in the moment because they bifurcate the decision to do so into two categories.
- Am I just being tough for tough sake? If so, why am I taking that path?
- Is the conversation tough because you truly believe they need to hear the truth, especially if it’s a hard truth about their performance?
I do believe that there is this “tough” culture out there that leaders try to emulate. The toughness without the truth is likely to alienate as I believe that version of toughness is to enrich the leader’s position and not the team as a whole.
However, being soft on your team because you don’t want to be lumped into this tough on team category is not serving your stakeholders either.
Thus, my new filter I have been working with clients and myself is: Are you doing a disservice to your team by not sharing this truth? Are you really helping them succeed in their role if we are holding back the truth in these tough moments?
The wins are starting to come. One client shared yesterday he hit his team with some hard truth from his heart that he never would have done just a few months prior. Progress is the aim.
Remember, the truth will set us free, but first it can tick us off.