I am sure that you have heard of the concept of Tough Love: a way of dealing with someone who has a problem  in which you do not show a lot of kindness so that they try to solve it themselves. Or put it even simpler: “not sugarcoating”.

I believe that we often times don’t say what we REALLY think because we don’t want to upset people. If whatever is on the table doesn’t directly affect us, we don’t bother “picking a fight”. Telling it like it is takes energy and we don’t always have that energy so we stick with a phrase that I’ve been hearing all around lately: “it is what it is”. But in fact, delivering someone a little bit of tough love (if need be) is actually a very honest gift.

Yesterday I gave a lecture with a great deal of tough love. I don’t remember being that brutally honest ever before. Did I like it? Heck no! Was it needed? YES! You see, tough love brings results, (even if it hurts at the very moment) and I want results from my students. Not for my own satisfaction, but for their professional success. On a market (any market) with a lot of competition you need to be at the top of your game or you will not last very long. My job is to get them to stay for the long haul, all teaching strategies included!

If you truly care about someone, you will take the beating that can come after giving them some hard truth. In the long run they will thank you. Because you won’t remember the teacher who had an “oh well, no worries” attitude, but you WILL remember the one who told you that you could do better.

Photo by Sarah Wolfe on Unsplash