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Monday 13th March 2017

Today I witnessed an interaction in the workplace and it taught me something.

It is an incredible leadership skill to be direct without being rude.

The particular individual I encountered has yet to learn this skill. But it made me want to ensure I learn it for myself as I move forward in my career.

It’s easy to be a dick to people and it’s the lazy option. What requires greater skill, is communicating effectively and clearly in a way that does not require condescension. It is a talent to get your point across, or put a boundary in place with maturity – instead of sounding like an indignant child.

In the workplace, when someone can admit they got something wrong without becoming defensive, it is an admirable quality. Often, people think that to admit a mistake will show weakness. But I think it shows incredible strength and integrity that ultimately elicits deeper respect from colleagues. It is a sign of a strong character.

Likewise, people in the workplace who can be direct, while still displaying basic human kindness – these are our true leaders.

This is not to say that we should never disagree, pull others into line or have uncomfortable conversations. But there are two ways to go about this. One in which we talk to our colleague like they are a real person and one in which we treat them as a number.

I hope one day that I become the sort of leader who does the former, not the latter.

Much love, Katie xx

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Hi, I’m Katie. I am a kiwi neuroscientist with a love for consuming and creating content. This site is where I share my personal thoughts and the thoughts of incredible minds from around the world. PhD in Neuroscience, University of Otago.

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