A word on professional courage

We know that courage isn’t the lack of fear but acknowledging it doing what needs to be done regardless. For most of us, it’s a personal quest add a little more courage as we mature.

In the professional world, particularly at the workplace, courage often translates to giving and receiving feedback as they’re directly responsible for growth. And while over the years we’ve become great at giving feedback (by manipulative means like the feedback sandwich or the ‘CRC or commend-recommend-commend method’ aka systematic desensitisation) we’re so far off when it comes to receiving feedback as it’s meant to be.

And unfortunately, as you go higher your ability to receive feedback fizzles out for some reason, which is weird because that’s what got to where you are in the first place! No wonder organisations are investing heavily on external coaches to intervene and interpret a simple 360 degree feedback or a direct feedback from a subordinate to a “high-potential.” It’s insane!

I believe someone within the organisation, perhaps an internal coach, should be responsible to having tough conversations with the leaders who’re having a hard time taking in feedback. This shouldn’t be ignored because leadership requires one to be humble enough to accept that they’re not perfect and there are still that can still be worked on for the greater good.

Though there are typical definitions for the term ‘professional courage,’ I think the simplest could be this — having the maturity to receive feedback with grace.

By Sunil Nair

Nurturing leaders of tomorrow.

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