Direct Yet Kind

I tell my kiddos this all the time:

How you say something matters just as much as what you actually say.

In other words, the way in which we deliver information may be just as important as the data itself. I think of Marshall McLuhan’s medium is the message type of thing often.

via Dilbert

Folks like to talk about radical candor but the truth is that it’s 1,000 times easier to talk about it than actually practicing it.

Why? Because radical candor actually costs something every single time it’s used and most of us are unwilling to pay the entry fee.

Real, useful candor requires the person to give up something of themselves, a position, a standing, and most significantly one’s leverage and pride. Most folks, including myself, do not easily part with those relational tools.

But we all need to do this better, for the sake of our relationships, our teams, our businesses, our families, and more.

If the entire world had a bit more courage and empathy… to learn how to be both direct and kind… it would change everything.

And I wouldn’t have to write about it ever again.