Genuine care for colleagues goes far beyond being nice

In the infancy of this blog, I need to get this on the table.  I’m a recovering addict.  An approval seeking addict.  A people pleaser.  Deep within me is the desire to make everyone happy at all times.  This pursuit is obviously impossible.

But I said I’m recovering.  I used to believe that if everyone was pleased with me, I was doing a good job.  My pursuit was to be the nice guy, the peace-maker.  I’ve learned a great deal however that being nice and optimistic isn’t always the best way to love and encourage my team.

Many times and in many ways, love is actually one of the toughest things you can do in a situation.  It is far easier to be calloused and disengaged.

In business, leaning into messy, ugly situations is often an incredible picture of love.  When stuff gets hard, the temptation is to shrink back, disengage or even completely sabotage others.

If you’re anything like me, then you know this tension.  Your smile is contagious at the office, you become the one everyone runs to with their problems.  You’re safe.  That quality is a rare but critical one in today’s corporate environment.

However, I’m learning that love in the business context is often times tough love.  It’s being willing to ask the hard question in response to the latest office politics or better yet, encouraging direct communication between the two offending parties.

You see, my perspective is changing.  I’m beginning to understand that love doesn’t always equal nice.  Because nice is far too often the mask for fake and apathetic.

Love the hard conversations at work and lean into them.  That’s where the good stuff starts to spring out of the mess.

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