When leaders communicate honestly and with respect, there is no limit to the positive impacts they make.
I remember back to when I was a child playing in the schoolyard and I made a comment about someone’s behaviour and was told: “You can’t say that – it’s not nice!”
You’ve probably had a similar experience. In our culture, we’re discouraged from saying what we really think because we might hurt someone’s feelings. We have to be “nice”.
But what ends up happening is that we tiptoe around people like we’re walking on eggshells … and no one feels comfortable.
In coaching, we use a definition for NICE that goes like this:
… to tell you the truth.
When I’m NICE, I pull my punches because I don’t want to offend.
When I’m NICE, I pretend everything’s okay even though it isn’t.
When I’m NICE, I’m more concerned about having you like me than I am about telling you the truth.
When I’m NICE, I care more about me than I do about you.
Being NICE is selfish and small-minded. When I’m NICE, nobody grows.
Being NICE is expensive!
The answer is to speak the truth with compassion; to honour and value the person while challenging their negative behaviours.
When we as leaders communicate honestly and with respect, there is no limit to the positive impacts we can have.