February 27, 2017 Carole Levy

Fired or promoted?

The idea for “Fired or promoted” comes from a conversation I had with a client who told me that the tendency to avoid conflict in her leadership team is so prevalent that “you never know if you are fired or promoted when you receive feedback”. I thought it was a funny notion.

A common difficulty for leaders in giving feedback is being trapped in a communication pattern that is either “too soft” or “too harsh.”

Often, this polarized stance is covering an underlying tension: we want to express care and accountability at the same time, but we don’t know how.

Focusing on clarifying the nuances of our conflicted thoughts is a useful way to step outside of the “too soft” or “too harsh” box.

Because the best feedback you can ever receive as a leader is: “Thank you for being so clear!”

Reflections: What is are your communication trends? Too soft or too harsh? Do you have tips to step outside of the “too soft”/“too harsh” box?


Comment (1)

  1. Rhonda

    Thank you for the post Carole! This hits home for me as we are going through annual reviews right now in my company. I had two in a row that did not go well. In fact, they were terrible! I was completely at the mercy as I was not prepared for negative responses from my employees. I was shell shocked from the first and stumbled right into the second one! To make matters worse, I should have stopped the conversation when we both had a chance to cool down and collect our thoughts. I could have returned to the source and been clear and instead I was all over the place, both too soft and too hard in the same conversation. What a mess I made of it. I intend to center myself and be clear with the follow up discussions, as this is what I owe my employees.

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