Grace and truth
I once heard a volleyball captain say that you can’t have a good relationship by only being nice. It is not untrue, especially of you are the leader. You always need to be able to deliver the hard truths that people need to hear but you need to be able to do it with grace.
If you are known for being a jerk and doing nothing but pointing out people’s faults then they won’t ever actually listen to you. If you are never giving them the criticism they need then they will never grow.
You are the captain of the women’s (or men’s), college volleyball team. You have been doing this middle school and the game is all you eat, sleep, and drink. Basically you know your stuff. Last year your previous setter graduated so you are using the person who was training to take the position. Game after game, sloppy spike after sloppy spike, you realize something. It isn’t your spiker that is the problem, it’s the setter. This person is hot headed and ready to eat the ball in her hand from so many misses. More than that she has started to blame the spiker and tell them off. Your words of, “just shake it off girls!” And, “we will get the next one!” Have been silenced by you realizing that you have to tell the setter what she is doing wrong. What do you do?
You tap her on the shoulder and say?
A. Listen. You keep on hesitating before your set so the timing is off and you are throwing off the spiker.
B. Hey there…is everything okay? Your sets seem a little hesitant. Don’t worry, you can do it.
Or C. I have noticed that you are a little hesitant with your sets today and it seems that is throwing off the spikes. (Place hand on shoulder) don’t worry, you can do it!
Option C. Shows the mistake gently and then encourages.
People need help. But they need you to offer that help kindly. Not sugarcoated, but not full of salt either. Find the balance and you can be a great asset to people.