When Feedback Is Needed, Don’t Be NICE

One of the problems we have in HR, says Jim Smith, is that HR people are NICE.

He spelled it out in capitals and explained that what it really means is, “Nothing Inside of me Cares Enough to tell you the truth.”

“We don’t want to make waves. We want everybody to be happy,” Smith told a DisruptHR Cleveland audience back in 2014. “But I say, ‘Don’t be nice. You must be kind.'”

His point is perhaps even more relevant today, as the trend away from annual reviews toward constant coaching gains steam: “When you are kind you are thinking of what that person needs to hear. What has to happen — You have to tell them the truth.”

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