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We're conditioned from an early age to avoid hurting people's feelings

"We're conditioned from an early age to avoid hurting people's feelings. You need to rise above your empathy and realize that it's your own feelings you are protecting, not theirs." Kim Malone Scott


There is a dark side to seeking a highly engaged workforce and it is costing companies a fortune.


Former Googler and author of 'Radical Candor' Kim Malone Scott calls this dark side 'ruinous empathy', i.e. when you care too much. Importantly this century we have shifted away from the old command-and-control-win-at-all-costs corporate culture but in many cases we have gone too far.


The result is a culture where everyone is super supportive and encouraging but courageous conversations are few. In so doing people may be saving face in the short term but with disastrous long term consequences. And whose face are they really saving? More often than not it is their own, as per Kim's quote above.


If I have spinach in my teeth please tell me! It may be a little awkward but I will be so grateful you told me and I didn't embarrass myself elsewhere. Spinach takes many forms in companies. Don't ignore it. Say something. Do it with care and your relationships will prosper.

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