Have you ever been told your communication is too direct? This is something I have heard time and time again throughout my career. Being direct is being kind. I know many people will disagree with this as we have been taught as leaders in a corporate environment that we need to soften things up as we communicate and make people feel good.
I agree that you should not be mean when delivering feedback, and your employees should know you care about them. Still, they also need to have a clear, concise understanding of the feedback you are delivering and the expectations you are setting to help them be successful in their role.
After being a leader for seven years in a corporate company, I started working with a coach to help me enhance my skills as a leader. When I told her the feedback, I get the most was that I am too direct. She told me that’s a beautiful skill to have, and it can’t be taught. This was the first time in my career that I was praised for having this trait. When you think about it, it is unfortunate because I had always valued being direct as having the integrity to be upfront and honest. This is important to acknowledge: YOU can be successful being a direct leader.
Benefits of being clear and direct
- It’s honest, truthful, and authentic
- Employees know exactly where they stand
- Employees will have a clear path of the steps they need to take to improve
- Demonstrates respect for self and others
- Builds integrity
- Saves yourself and others time, energy, and money
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Ask your self “Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true?” before communicating and providing feedback
- Please keep it simple. Concise, clear, and brief is always better.
- Make sure your people know you care about them and the “why” behind the feedback.
Good Luck on your journey to be kind, clear, and direct! If you need more information, check out this article on how being clear is kind.