Not Blowing Sh*t Up At Work is Hard…

“You think this is hard?  This isn’t hard.  You know what’s hard?  Riding a bike on a freeway, now that’s hard.”

Willard Sims, Head Basketball Coach, Truman State

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Yep – Willard Sims was my college basketball coach at NE Missouri (later renamed Truman State, because, you know, we can’t let people think our mission is to simply serve the region we reside in – the horrors!), and he had a way with a quote.

He also sounded like Clint Eastwood playing Gunny Highway in Heartbreak Ridge.  Great guy, Willard Sims.

Every time I think about what’s hard in life, I think about Willard and that quote.

You know what else is hard?  Not blowing shit up at work.  Because the easiest path to address something is just to blow some shit up.  Observe:

1–I’m on a plane this week.  One of my talented direct reports responds to an email.

2–I get the email on a plane.  I type up a fact-filled observation about said team member’s response.  Turns out, feedback is required and there’s a bit of tunnel vision.  I’m on the road, so an email back from a plane somewhere on the way to Boston is how it’s going to go down.

3–I get distracted by a huuuuuuuuuge basket of snacks.  You’re not handing them to me, so I take what I want?  Multiple items?  I take enough to prepare for the next tropical event that impacts the SE United States.  

4–I’m back.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, direct feedback.  Let’s do this.  I have a some observations you might be interested in.

5–F***.  GoGoInFlight my ###.  It’s down again.  No immediate feedback for you.

6–I read the email after waking up the next day from the hotel.  Might have made someone feel bad if I sent that.  Context is hard via email.

The path of least resistance (for me!) is immediate feedback.  But immediate feedback with face-to-face communication is hard.  Misunderstandings ensue.

I never sent the email.  I put it in the journal and hope to give the feedback 1-1.  Hard to do when remote so much of the time.

Not blowing #### up as a road warrior employee/manager isn’t easy.  But if you’re not telling someone that they did something right before you give them the notes for improvement, you’re probably asking for trouble.

The snacks?  They were excellent.  GoGo still sucks.

This post originally appeared on The HR Capitalist
Author: Kris Dunn