We are all human beings just trying to live our best lives in this crazy world. Sometimes, we have good days, sometimes bad. Be caring when you ask your subordinates about themselves. Really listen to them, and don’t be afraid to open up.
No, you don’t want to take on their hardships or become a burden yourself, but you should care about the people who work for you as human beings.
What’s the best way to show you care personally? Scott says it’s all about challenging directly.
We’re taught to be careful not to challenge others, especially if those people sit above you in your company or have more status in some other way. As a kid, you’re taught not to question your parents’ command to leave that cookie in the jar — you just have to obey them (or maybe sneak one when they’re not looking). In business, we don’t tell our bosses, coworkers, and employees everything they did wrong, because that would be rude, right?
“Challenging people generally pisses them off, and at first that doesn’t seem like a good way to build a relationship or to show that you ‘care personally,” Scott writes. However, she explains, you’ll find that most people will move past the annoyance or anger, especially if you indicate an openness to being challenged yourself.
It may seem foreign to most workplace cultures to challenge others and encourage them to challenge you, but it’s necessary for building the kinds of trusting relationships that Smith is after here. It shows you care enough to call out the good and the bad, and that you’re able to admit when you’re wrong. This candidness also shows you’re committed to finding real solutions.
It’s not about insults. Calling someone “a jerk” is not “radical candor.” If the feedback doesn’t exhibit that you ‘care personally' it’s not going to work.
This brings us to open communication.