There was a really fantastic interview in the New York Times Sunday business section (Corner Office, a regular column, one of the reasons I still subscribe the NYTimes) awhile back with Robin Domeniconi, Sr. VP and chief brand officer for the Elle Group. She seems to be a natural leader/coach. She says, that you can “say anything, but phrase it the right way.” One of my mentors, Thomas Leonard, used to say that you could say anything if your tone was neutral. I think it is a combination of both – the key thing being that you have to say what needs to be said no matter how hard it is, or you are doing your people are disservice.
When asked about creating openness on her team she replies that she works hard to be role model for being honest when you don’t know something, or when you need more explanation to make a decision.
Ms. Domeniconi also talks about the importance – really the critical nature- of trust and communication. She says that a team that communicates well and trusts each other can make mistakes, recover, get smarter and accomplish anything. That has certainly been my experience.
A real inspiration, if you are needing one today.