Calling a Spade a Spade

Aaj Kal (Now a days) How difficult it is o call a spade a spade? Being open and honest is a good quality in the history and even in books. Can we manage to be display absolute frankness in our day to day life?

ugly dresss


The obvious answer is “No”. Being too frank is foolishness. If your girlfriend/boyfriend wants you to comment on her birthday dress and the dress does not look great to you ,  Can you tell your opinion without hesitation?

The cost of frankness is a wonderful relationship. We cannot make our relationships at stake for the sake of frankness. I would rather present a beautiful dress to her in advance.

Even at work, we should be very cautious about expressing our opinions openly and honestly. Suppose one of your team member is not performing up to the mark and you want to communicate this to him. Do you tell him directly that he is not performing well?

What would be the reaction of the team member if you do so? 99% of the people do not take it positively and feel bad about the feedback?

It’s detrimental if you give the negative feedback in an open forum. No one feels comfortable to receive not so positive message in public. After all we are social animals.

How can we pass these not so positive information to the people?

Appreciate the people in public and suggest the improvements in private.

If a person is not performing well, one of the root causes could be that we could not provide a work environment for him to reach his maximum potential. He may not be the right fit for the job. We might have committed to unrealistic project timelines. We might be trying to hit a fast-moving target.He may have some issues in his personal life. And the list goes on.

As a leader , we do need to consider all the possible reasons for underperformance and prescribe a medicine for the improvement.

What if the whole team is not performing up to the expectation. Do you go and tell everybody that they are not performing well. Everyone gets discouraged and it even worsens the situation.

A leader should look for the ways to motivate the team members. It’s not a one time task. It’s an ongoing activity of a leader. His primary job is to enable the team members perform to their potential.

Absolute frankness works only in the ideal world. We should think twice before calling Spade a Spade.


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