A couple of months ago, a friend sent me two articles, and while I appreciated and enjoyed their content at the time, I’m realizing I need to take a more active approach if I wanted to follow their advice.
Appreciation vs. Apology
The first article is “Stop Saying ‘Sorry’ And Start Saying ‘Thank You’.” Yes, according to the New York Times, women apologize too much, and I get it, but this article takes that advice to the next level. It makes it about the other person – not about you.
For example, when you’re running late to an appointment, what you appreciate more is the person’s patience and understanding of the situation, versus just wanting their forgiveness. You want to say “Thank You.”
“I’m sorries” have become so frequent, the apology has become so watered down; however, appreciation for another is very rare. The positioning that Klimas proposing is focusing on that gratitude, which is also a healthier approach than the usual “woe-is-me” attitude.
My resolution is to catch myself everything I want to apologize and turn it into a statement of appreciation and gratitude.
The second article is “Radical Candor — The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss” where Kim Scott shares a tactic of radical candor for organizations. I won’t try to summarize the entire article here (please read it when you have a moment), but the quotes that resonated with me were:
“The single most important thing a boss can do, Scott has learned, is focus on guidance: giving it, receiving it, and encouraging it. Guidance, which is fundamentally just praise and criticism, is usually called “feedback,” but feedback is screechy and makes us want to put our hands over our ears. Guidance is something most of us long for.”
“I would argue that criticizing your employees when they screw up is not just your job, it’s actually your moral obligation.”
She also shares the alternatives to Radical Candor in the following graph quadrants, and when the second best thing you can do is be an asshole (Obnoxious Aggression), then I’m going to try to stick with Radical Candor.
My resolution to continue to build my relationships with my team mates so that it creates an environment of radical candor; an environment where I’m able to provide that guidance and be open to that guidance.
Scott’s article also reminded me of the book, Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, which told the story of how leaders and managers need to make sure that they are treating their employees as people and humans. I’m over simplifying it, but the book shares stories of a boss who learns the lesson and the benefits to team morale, retention, etc.