Saturday, May 31, 2014

Have some tact…

I meet often with people who are better than me.  It's the only way to stay sharp.  In fact, I was meeting with someone, who has been in his industry for quite some time, just a couple weeks ago.  I have great respect for this man.  However, he said something that really disturbed me.  During one of our sessions together, part of his advice to me was: "I'm just very blunt.  I tell people the way it is."  Now, a lot of people might see this as a noble gesture.  He wears it as a badge of honor… a kind of unconventional way of breaking barriers and helping people understand exactly where they are coming from.  Unfortunately, I do not agree with him at all.  Dale Carnegie said this,

“If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don't want to be. ” ~D. Carnagie

What that man communicated to me in that one exchange was that he is unwilling to continue to get better.  I am not saying that he does not care about people, but what I do know from a comment like that is you take away your ability to change and become better as soon as you make that kind of comment.  So, this is what I took away from that.  Have some tact. 

As leaders we are called on by others to continually better ourselves, in hopes that we might be able to influence them to become better at what they do.  Another man, whom has my upmost respect, gave some advice that was very different from my blunt friend.  He said this: always put relationship at the very top, because at the end of the day that's all you have.  I guess my question to each of you is: where do you fall on the spectrum… are you the blunt all telling no-nonsense person?  Or do you achieve the same goals, while using a little bit of tact?  The choice is ours.

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