Strike a balance between Care and Candor.
Permissional leadership is about the relationship; however, you should never put building great community over the contribution to the organization. At the end of the day, the company is not like a family. Yes, it is about people, but you still should require responsibility and accountability from your people in order for the organization to function effectively.
Firstly, understand how Care and Candor work together.
- Caring values the person, while Candor values the person’s potential.
- Caring establishes the relationship, while Candor expands the relationship.
- Caring defines the relationship, while Candor directs the relationship.
- Caring should never suppress candor, while Candor should never displace caring.
Secondly, recognize which situations call for a candid conversation and have one.
Sometimes, candid conversations are the leader’s responsibility and they must be had—in the right way and with the right attitude.
Before beginning a candid conversation, make sure that you answer yes to all of the following questions:
- Have I invested enough in the relationship to be candid with them?
- Do I truly value them as people?
- Am I sure this is their issue and not mine?
- Am I sure I’m not speaking up because I feel threatened?
- Is the issue more important than the relationship?
- Does this conversation clearly serve their interests and not just mine?
- Am I willing to invest time and energy to help them change?
- Am I willing to show them how to do something, not just say what’s wrong?
- Am I willing and able to set clear, specific expectations?
Tips on having candid conversations:
- Do it quickly.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment.
- Do it calmly.
Never in anger.
- Do it privately.
- Do it thoughtfully.
In a way that minimizes embarrassment or intimidation.