For a few years, I’ve been working as a Data Science manager. My personal life profoundly influences my management style, and vice versa. As a manager, I’ve grown accustomed to providing direct feedback on almost everything. We all need direction, coaching, and understanding of our performance and the standards expected from us as employees. Thus, I make it a point to provide feedback not only to my team members but also to others around me.

I’ve always been quite forthright in my communication. However, before stepping into a managerial role, there were instances where I would shy away from having difficult conversations. After becoming a manager, I quickly realized that avoiding radical candor only leads to accumulating debt that eventually needs to be paid. And sometimes, the interest on this debt can become unbearable if you constantly delay those tough conversations. Inevitably, you’ll regret not addressing the elephant in the room sooner.

The hard way taught me that it’s crucial to tackle these conversations head-on and as early as possible. This lesson is one that I’ve carried over into my personal life as well. My wife and I have always had excellent communication; however, there have been times when we’ve avoided certain topics just to spare each other’s feelings. Lately though, I find myself less likely to sidestep difficult subjects in my personal life - a change I attribute to my growing experience as a manager seeping into my private self.

This shift is also evident in how I parent my kid. There are times when you don’t want to hurt your child’s feelings but providing them with honest feedback is essential for their growth. Life can be tough; it’s better for them to receive criticism - given with love and candor - from their parents early on so they can learn how to handle it later in life.

While I believe that this professional influence may positively impact my personal relationships, it’s essential for me not to become overbearing. I feel that my personal life could genuinely benefit from minor adjustments in my communication style. However, I don’t want to become the person who is constantly pointing out faults and mistakes.