“You seek a culture of trust, yet you do not trust yourself. How will you establish trust with yourself?”  Startled to hear “you do not trust yourself”? I delivered this “Compassionate Edge” Direct Communication Feedback to a Leadership Coaching Client. She wanted to establish a culture of trust in her office with the goal of her staff following through with their commitments, yet had revealed she was not living up to her own commitments to herself.

What made this direct communication feedback compassionate? Speaking from my heart.  I really do care about and want the best for the Executives, Leaders, Teams and Coaches I work with. When you come from that position, people know. It is reflected in the all important nonverbal, including tone of voice. Note also I did not criticize or accuse the client of being untrustworthy. Feedback I have received since my early twenties is “gentle strength”, like combining the lion and the lamb.

My coaching client’s lack of follow through with herself was not only impacting her personally; her office situation mirrored her own personal struggle (which is not uncommon!).

What is Compassionate Edge feedback (a type of Direct Communication)?  A brief, “laser”-like statement that gets to the heart of the matter, providing a direct challenge. While compassionate and empathetic, it may not be considered “ nice” (as in Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: stay tuned for this topic).

My Executives, Leaders, Teams and Coaches are working with me on their Culturally Intelligent Direct Communication and Feedback.  In particular, they are learning to pause to consider their audience and how their communication, feedback might land before delivering it, keeping cultural differences in mind (CQ).

When is Compassionate Edge Feedback given? While it may be preferable and feel more comfortable to deliver it after a trusting relationship is established, depending on the audience/culture, it may be called for even during contracting and initial meetings. Such was the case with this client who first contacted me regarding coaching someone in her office to work with them on their commitments and I said, “Let’s start with you. As the leader, you set the tone.”

Back to the leader we started with. When she cleaned up her commitments (and therefore increased trust) with herself, what do you think happened? Right! Her increased ability to trust herself positively impacted her office; resulting in trust (and profit) blossoming.

Leaders and Coaches-Contact me to partner (as your coach) with you and your team to increase your feedback impact.

Coaches, check out our Coaching Supervision, Coaching Excellence, or Culturally Intelligent Mentor Coaching + Certificate program, to advance your coaching and credentialing with my culturally intelligent compassionate edge communication.

To our success-we are in this together!

Marilyn O’Hearne, MA, MCC

Culturally Intelligent Executive, Leadership, Team and Mentor Coaching; Supervision



PS Stay tuned for a future blog on expanding perspectives in this Direct Communication series, where you will hear another compassionate edge statement, “How you see yourself does not match how others see you. Time to update your self image!”

update of a previous blog