Twice in the last week, I found myself in a position where I had information that was not going to be received well by another. In each case, I had to make the decision to either tell them, which would almost certainly make them angry, or hold on to the information and spare them the anger and distraction.
In each case, I ended up telling them.
Before I told them, I had this very conversation with them. Would you rather I tell you something that is going to anger you, but give you information that will potentially allow you to make better and more informed decisions going forward? Or would you rather I spare you this anger, and possible distraction, and allow you to go on without knowing?
Both said they’d rather have all the information and hear tough news or thoughts they may not like or agree with. Both made the point that I shouldn’t be making decisions for them on what they can or cannot handle. They both argued that life doesn’t always give you the news you want and it’s up to each person to adjust and cope with whatever comes their way.
This is a point of view I share with both of them, and would have been inclined to just outright tell both. But I wanted to go through this thought exercise with each to make sure we were all seeing it the same way.
No matter how negative something may be or how much it makes me angry, I would rather know the entirety of a situation or what someone else is thinking so I am equipped to make the right decisions and handle myself most appropriately for the situation.
Both cases ended in making productive decisions that mitigated the trouble spot and allowed us all to move forward in the best way possible.
I know some managers will shield their employees from negative news or poor feedback from other colleagues or managers, but I believe that feedback enables people to do better work and become stronger and more secure in their profession.
I feel the same way.