When Tjan interviewed global CEOs and senior executives, asking them if they thought their meetings met their intended objectives, they said less than 40% of the meetings did!
How does this happen? It’s simple: people are avoidance-motivated. Tjan writes, “…the answer lies at least in part in the human tendency to avoid or massage the delivery of difficult or conflict-causing topics.” But, of course, this is when we most need to be direct.
It’s not like directness can’t cause problems. You must express yourself clearly. You must be compassionate. You must prepare and practice. You must not wing it!
It takes courage to confront what you should. Tjan concludes: “Diplomacy is a great virtue but so is clarity, and diplomacy without clarity is just undiplomatic B.S. Have the courage to be direct.”
Help your people understand what they should know and what you expect. Give them honest and timely feedback. Otherwise, they’re not on the same page as you. They’re confused about what they need to do. And when they’re confused, they won’t act decisively or in your company’s best interest. To increase your effectiveness, learn to be direct.