Monday, August 6, 2012

The Problem of Being Nice - written by Gary Bradt

The Problem of Being Nice

[Posted on August 5, 2012 by Gary Bradt]

Too may people are too nice and that’s a problem when you are trying to help someone change and grow.

As I write this post, the 2012 Olympics are taking place.  For every medalist, there is a coach behind them: pushing, challenging, cajoling, and exhorting them to new levels of performance excellence.

I am sure these coaches aren’t always so “nice” in how they go about their business. That’s not their job. It’s to help their athlete’s win, to achieve their maximum level of performance. Coaches do that by reinforcing what’s going well, pointing out what needs to improve, and showing their athletes how to get better.
You can apply these same principles at work.

Employees always know at some level when they aren’t cutting it. And no one likes to fail. They need a strong leader to let them know where the gaps are in their performance and how to bridge them to give them a fighting chance at success. Have the tough conversation and help them out. Don’t be a jerk about it, but don’t avoid the conversation either because you want to be “nice.”

Unfortunately, I have run into countless leaders who have sidestepped tough conversations with under performers because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Therefore the employee’s behavior does not change nor do results. Eventually the employee gets fired, quits, or is transferred to another department to become someone else’s problem.

Remember, a leader’s job is not to make everyone comfortable. It’s to help people and the organizations they serve be the best they can be.  Step up and be that leader.
Do that and I promise your outcomes will be nice.

For more blog posts written by Dr. Gary Bradt, visit:

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