I was alarmed last night when I found out that an associate of mine was talking the talk but not walking the walk. Everything within me wants to be nice, but NICE isn’t what’s called for now. So I’ll need to have a conversation.
Speak the Truth in Love
Good coaches…and good friends…are willing to give support and challenge to those they care about. Support comes in many forms: emotional, encouragement, perspective, empathy, care. Challenge expresses itself in multiple ways: insisting on clarity, resolving inconsistencies, goal-setting, and bringing accountability. The Bible speaks of support and challenge in several ways, including “grace and truth” (John 1:14, 17), and “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). What can at first seem like a dichotomy can be, in fact, a perfect blend of what it means to coach well, and love others well.
So, don’t be NICE.
Being NICE Means I Don’t Care
I’ve been on an acronym run lately, and here’s another. Nothing In me Cares Enough. N-I-C-E. Nice means that I don’t challenge when it’s hard or scary. I let things slide by protecting the relationship at the expense of bringing genuine love. If I was loving I’d actually care. And if I cared I would absolutely bring challenge.
So here’s what I’ll say. “Everything inside me wants to be nice to you right now. But I’ve come to realize that ‘nice’ means ‘Nothing In me Cares Enough’, and if I don’t bring some challenge right now I’m not being loving.”
Maybe that’s helpful to you today.
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