Telling You What You Need To Hear
One time my friend was feeling sick, and I was ready to be the best friend ever and help. My first step: Offer my solutions to help her feel better. Did you take this medicine? Try this tea? Get additional rest?
With my advice, I was sending her on the path to healing, right? Welp, I actually made her feel much worse. In that moment, I was more concerned about being right than I was with just being empathetic. And I was being an annoying know-it-all.
After she asked me to kindly shut up, she told me what she wanted to hear in the moment: "I'm sorry. This sucks."
At the time, she wasn't looking for solutions. She obviously knew how to make a cup of tea or take medicine. She just wanted someone to acknowledge that she was feeling crummy. Lesson learned.
Fast forward: I have had a very hard week at work. One of my roughest ever.
But it wasn't just difficult for me. It was a very hard week for my entire company, including my team.
I had some of the answers, but nowhere near all of them. Despite having next steps and plans for a go-forward, I knew that once my team members received tough news, they didn't need to hear my solutions right away.
Instead, as their leader, I chose to tell them the only thing that they needed to hear right then.
"I'm sorry. This sucks."