I have been using this excuse for the longest time as an excuse to speak my mind without care for the hurt that it might inflict on other parties.
Last Friday, I wrote a post titled "Sales and Marketing are from Mars, and Engineers are from Venus", and I proudly shared the link with the Sales Director who I had written about (the mismanagement of the hiree). This morning, he told me he felt bad after reading my post. And that made me feel bad.
He should not have to feel bad because I did not set out to make him feel bad. In fact, quite the opposite. I wanted to impart a lesson on how best a non-technical person can manage a potential technical hire. That was my honest intent.
"To be myself" VS "Not being a jerk"
What if my natural self is a jerk? Then the wise adage "to be yourself" would prove to be harmful, and that is detrimental to people I care about, and who are on my team.
So we got on a call, and this is how I ended the call.
You know I can be prickly with my words, but I am targeting the issue, not you (as a person), right?
If I have to append such disclaimers after every tumultuous call, then I think I ought to do better. I do not believe I need to please people, but I can at least be kind.
So, I will make an extra effort to be kind.