Are you always conscious of the way you share things with others?
I would sometimes find myself opening my mouth to change feet. Not intentionally wanting to say things that were harmful or disparaging, but nevertheless finding that what I had to say was not exactly helpful.
Let me share some examples:
“I want you to do this, but make sure you do it without causing a problem with that.”
Interpretation: I’ll be watching you because you are sure to cause a problem.
“Go ahead and make that decision, but I don’t want the responsibility if things go wrong as a result.”
Interpretation: I won’t support you because the decision is wrong.
“I want you to be successful, but I also want to make sure you don’t get into any trouble doing so.”
Interpretation: You are bound to fail.
“Make sure that you keep everyone informed of what you are doing, but just don’t upset anyone.”
Interpretation: You aren’t doing anything right.
Can you think of any examples where you use language that looks encouraging superficially but has an underlying threat? People who have to listen to warnings with every communication will soon loose heart and will be reduced into having low self esteem, no matter how strong they are.
Encouragement is supposed to give people courage, not cause anxiety.
Are you encouraging or discouraging your people?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how you can communicate your intention to others in a more positive and efficient way.