We are social creatures. It is completely normal that we have a need to belong and a need to be held in high regard. So let me ask you. What do you do when it comes to giving someone on your team feedback that you think will upset them? How’s that for a loaded question?
False kindness defined: Not having a needed performance conversation because you do not want to upset the person.
If we really care about our teams then we want them to developing their skills and knowledge. Not pointing things out as needed is a kind of giving up on them. That’s not so helpful is it? It doesn’t show you care about your team’s growth either does it? When your team does not grow chances are that your business will not grow either.
The opportunity is to learn to talk to your team members in a way that minimizes defensiveness. No one likes to hear that they are not doing well at something. Understood! Will it be better to wait another 6 months before telling them? Likely not!
What is helpful is to discuss the situation without making it personal. No accusations or drama needed but just discuss the facts as you know them. You can begin a conversation then and start to assess the person’s willingness to be coached.
You can be very diplomatic and still have an upset team member. Really though is there any longevity with a team member who cannot accept that they could improve or adjust their performance….even just a little? What does it say for someone who acts as if they are flawless in all they do? What does it say about someone who acts as it the many things they do brilliantly gives them the right to go unchallenged when there are errors, inefficiency or complaints?
It is not pleasant when people avoid you because they are angry with you. Yes, they are angry at the person who is providing feedback but that is not a good reason to shirk your responsibility as a Manager.
What can be helpful is to set the context of the conversation. Not all work conversations are fun but not having difficult conversations at all can be very damaging kind of false kindness.