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Are you ready to give Tough Love?

I find being strict and enforcing expectations hard. As a Manager, it’s a thing I’ll worry about, although it’s usually well received.

Doctors hands consoling patient

Staff want to be empowered and given flexibility but they also want rules and boundaries. For a Manager, it’s natural to want to be liked and it’s also OK to be strict, but it’s important to get a balance between tough and love.

Too tough, and the team are stressed and poorly performing. Too much love, might feel good, but it leads to complacency and apathy. It’s vital to get the balance and know what tough love is and what it isn’t.

Tough love isn’t..

It’s not being demanding, confrontational or rude.

It’s not micro-managing.

It’s not being a dictator.

It’s not using discipline to control.

Tough Love is..

It is setting high standards.

Clearly communicated to build respect and deliver improvement.

It is having accountability.

Acting upon it fairly and appropriately when needed.

It is setting rules and boundaries.

To guide towards achieving goals and still allowing initiative and flexibility.

It is giving feedback.

That’s consistent, constructive and reasonable, not negative and damaging.

We may want to be likeable and one of the team, but our team might want someone tougher and ready to lay down the law.


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