I thought this was a terrific post by Kim Scott.
I was reflecting on the lost art of giving very direct feedback to team members with a friend this weekend.
Whilst a lot of the management techniques that I responded positively to earlier in my career would these days be described as bordering on bullying or 'obnoxious aggression'. It strikes me that there is a vast number of managers/leaders these days that err far too far towards 'ruinous empathy'.
Good people tend to like to know where they stand, and are not afraid of fair and constructive feedback. That seems to me to be one of the best measures of whether you have the right person in that key role in your team.
The single most important thing a boss can do, Scott has learned, is focus on guidance: giving it, receiving it, and encouraging it. Guidance, which is fundamentally just praise and criticism, is usually called “feedback,” but feedback is screechy and makes us want to put our hands over our ears. Guidance is something most of us long for.