Tough not Rough
11-26-2015

Thanks Stan Sewitch for sharing....
“Tough, not rough.”
“What do you mean by that?” I asked Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40 Company. We were talking about leadership development, conflict resolution methods and the challenge of balancing a tough mind with a tender heart.
“Well, think about some of the better teachers you had growing up,” Garry replied. “The ones you remember aren’t the teachers who let you get away with murder, right? You remember the teachers who both challenged you to do better, and simultaneously demonstrated that they truly cared about you.”
“Being tough on someone means that you invest the truth in them. You tell them what is hard for them to hear, but they need to hear it, for their own good. You don’t let them off the hook when they are failing to live up to their own commitments. You show that you want the best for them and that you care enough to spend time helping them. You encourage them.”
“That’s a good definition of what used to be called ‘tough love’, isn’t it?” I said. “What’s the difference between ‘tough’ and ‘rough’ then?”
Garry replied, “Being rough on someone means that you don’t care how what you’re saying affects them. You are hurtful and mean in your communication. You don’t encourage them, you only describe what they are doing wrong. You focus on how what they are doing or not doing is negatively affecting you. You worry mostly about how their performance affects your reputation and potential for advancement. You take no responsibility for how they are doing. You demand that they improve, but you don’t show them how or help them get there.
“Being tough on someone is about helping them. Being rough on someone is about helping yourself.” Garry concluded.

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