Beware the Brutally Honest Workplace

People yelling at each other in brutally honest workplace

An old fad is making a comeback: the “brutally honest workplace.” From my vantage point, interacting with your colleagues using “radical candor” or “radical transparency” is a subtle—and sometimes not so subtle—form of verbal assault that seems to be spreading, given the success of firms like Bridgewater Associates, and contributing to the rise of incivility and insensitivity today. Proponents of this approach sometimes say that offering constructive criticism should come from a caring mindset but, from what I’ve seen, it merely gives the arrogant and the bullies permission to verbally attack others in the name of honesty. Fortunately, recent research shows the foolishness of this approach (in fact, even mild expressions of rudeness have been shown to impair team performance).

Last year when I was teaching a Connection Culture workshop in Amsterdam, Carmina Glazenborg from Bentley Systems in Amstelveen, The Netherlands, shared with the group her experience working as an intern at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Listen to Ms. Glazenborg’s story by clicking on the video above. (more…)

To Avoid Micromanagement, Minimize Unnecessary Rules and Excessive Controls

Micromanaged employees like puppets on a string

Unnecessary rules and excessive controls devalue people by making them feel that they are not trusted or respected. A leader who micromanages his people will not engage or energize them.

Micromanaged employees are more likely to feel disconnected because it is a universal human need to have a reasonable degree of autonomy or freedom to do our work. When people have autonomy, they have a greater sense of control and experience personal growth as they develop new skills and expertise.

Is There a Place for Love in Leadership?

The Container Store's "We Love Our Employees" Day 2014

“A company is stronger if bound by love than by fear.” – Herb Kelleher, cofounder of Southwest Airlines

When Kip Tindell, CEO of The Container Store, first heard Herb Kelleher’s words more than 40 years ago he was, in his own words, “completely taken by it.” In Tindell’s excellent book, Uncontainable, he describes how he and his leadership team went on to shape The Container Store’s outstanding “employee first” culture in ways that reflect love. He credits the company’s culture for its success.

Cut the Strings: Provide Autonomy in Execution

autonomy

#47 Provide Autonomy in Execution

Monitor progress and be available to help your direct reports but refrain from “micro managing” unless they ask for specific help. This meets the human need for autonomy that allows people to experience personal growth.

This is the forty-seventh post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights language, attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others. Although the language, attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.