You probably won’t like what I have to say this week.
I’m going to tell you it’s okay to offend someone.
Before you take this as a pass to be obnoxious, think first.
Sometimes when we confront reality, it can be a bit uncomfortable. But progress comes through the doorway of pain sometimes. You’ve heard that when applied to exercise. It’s the same with personal growth. Often we don’t make significant changes until the pain of continuing to do something exceeds the pain of changing it.
If you have developed a friendship with someone that transcends the level of an acquaintance, you may have earned the right to speak truth into his life. The boundaries of the relationship will reveal how far you can go.
When it comes to work relationships, the rules of friendship can get set aside. In order for you to be on a team with others who may or may not be friends, you have to point out things from time to time that will make the gears turn better. If you don’t, the risk is that nothing will get done. It’s a personal risk to possibly offend someone whose work isn’t up to par. But it’s not fair to the team when one link in the chain is broken, so go ahead and stick your neck out.
If you’re going to offend someone, do it for the right reasons.
Some human relations principles apply here. It’s not necessary to offend if you think your coworkers blouse is ghastly. Now if she comes to work dressed like a clown and you’re not working at a circus, you should probably say something. The principle to remember is that you should criticize behavior, not people.
Everyone has something they can do really well. We’re all created in God’s image and that gives us all value. So be careful not to make your remarks personal.
You should also let them know that you’re hurt too. The pain is what led you to say something. Let them know you have their best interest in mind. You’re part of a team and when one member suffers, the others do too.
What I’m suggesting is that you refrain from criticism unless it’s constructive. Don’t tell someone what they’ve done is wrong unless you offer a solution as well.
Who knows? Your remarks might make a difference and offer someone hope.