What do you have to say that you are not saying? What punch are you pulling? Are you withholding praise or constructive criticism? The other person has little or no chance of improving without the benefit of your perspective for the good or bad. Not sharing valuable information could be crippling your business.
In the software world, a black hat is a malicious hacker who finds and exploits weaknesses in a computer system. All systems are vulnerable and have weak areas that put them at risk for failure, including human systems. These are the areas and ways in which people, teams and entire organizations often get blindsided and set back.
Regardless of how skilled, talented and successful someone is, they don't know what they don't know.
We all have impacts on those around us for the better or worse. We are aware of some of the ways our behaviour, comments and decisions affect other members of the organization and not aware of others. These are our blindspots.
The best source of information about how we are impacting the rest of the members of the team are the rest of the members of the team. If I am not aware that I am either doing something that works for you or doesn't for you, then my best hope is for you to tell me. I want to do more of what works and less of what doesn't and you are best source of information. How am I supposed to improve if I don't know? I could always ask but because it's a blindspot for me I might not even think to ask.
People need feedback in order to grow.
We support our teams to give each other more white hat and black hat feedback. I give a white hat about something that's working for me, something I appreciate or and grateful for in the contributions of my team mates. This builds performance muscle and reinforces talents, skills and strengths and their applications to key parts of the business. I give a black hat to acknowledge when something is not working the way I'd like it to and I am giving my partners the benefit of the doubt and the benefit of my perspective so they have a chance to change the thing that's not working or offer a rebuttal that might clear the air between us. White hats reinforce strengths and black ones help overcome weaknesses.
Most people do not receive enough white hat or black hat feedback.
Instead of sharing their valuable perspective many leaders withhold their praise and perspective or they dump their judgements on their teammates as judgement and criticism that only adds to the toxic energy in the system.
In an issue-free relationship nothing is swept under the rug in a way that everyone trips over it. It does not mean that there is no friction or conflict it only means that as soon as I am aware that something is in the way of my full participation I communicate that to the other person at the earliest appropriate moment.
Feedback is hard to give and hard to receive but it is a gift.
The process is pretty simple. You see and hear things about the people on your team. You don't see and hear everything but you make assessments about what you do take in. We all make up stories about our collaborators. If you are stressed you will likely make up a negative story. If you are satisfied, a positive story. The point is to share your assessments and stories with your team mates. Not because they are completely right or accurate but because it gives them the benefit of your perspective and it starts a conversation about what really works and what could work better. The result is fewer issues, less drama and a ventilation of resentment, guilt and other toxic energies which impeded growth. It's a simple but profound act of leadership to share your opinion.
If you've got something to say. Say it.