- Being Nice Vs being kind
Before reading Jason Lengstorf’s article I never perceived a difference between being nice and being kind. Remember that time when you came home after a dinner with some friends and noticed that salad leaf stuck in your teeth? Remember how mad at your friends you were for not telling you? After a few minutes you tempered and thought they were being nice because they didn’t want you to feel embarrassed. Yes they were nice, but they refused to be kind, putting their comfort first over your good. When you really care about the people you’re interacting with you can’t always avoid to have uncomfortable conversations. « Being nice is a betrayal of trust. » I agree with Jason, there is something dangerous in always wanting to be nice rather than being kind. The personal and work experiences Jason shares in his article are situations that could have happened to all of us, at least once. Trying to be nice all the time is avoiding difficult and uncomfortable conversations when frankness and honesty are required. Of course there are ways and means to say it right (your intentions can’t lie), but being kind is a sign of respect.
It is hard to know exactly when the sum of our knowledge and experiences become expertise. Expertise is difficult to define because it is not a concept easily measurable. In his article about Part Time Creators, Shawn Hang defines it as the « judgements » you rationalised, the « untold stories » you had been through and the « data » you made sense of since years of experience. Today, with social media and all the content available to us, it is very easy to compare yourself and feel bad. But what takes you away from having more experience is this fear of feeling bad. The objective is not to be an expert, it’s to have the courage to share what you think could help others. It’s THE way to find and show your true value. The value others find in you is your expertise.
- Drive-by commentaries
There is no helpful help without commitment. It’s easy to complain or comment but it takes a personal effort to understand the problem and come up with ideas. It is another level of effort to do something about it and deliver real value. As Karl Yang says in his article: « A lot of people think they’re “adding value” by nitpicking, or supplying unsolicited takes, when they’re actually just draining energy and momentum. » Commentators’ intentions don’t align with helping the project. They take part in the conversation as a way to show off some random and useless thoughts or clock on some work without sharing the responsibility of the end result. It can be overwhelming because we leave you with a lot of fuzzy, irrelevant or contradictory information to process by yourself. Those situations can happen from spontaneous customer requests, afterthoughts clients feedback or planned colleagues review. If this happens too often then it means you might have to ignore some requests or change the way you go and ask for feedback.
2021, week 13
— Jason Lengstorf wrote:
"be nice" is too often coded language for "don't make anyone uncomfortable" — but to be kind, we often need to have uncomfortable conversations.
— Shawn Hang wrote:
Expertise is specific and tacit knowledge. Everything that cannot be taught: all the judgment you hone by doing, all the untold stories and relevant data recalled at your fingertips.