I could tell from my team member's eyes that I had hurt his feelings. A change was happening at work, and I didn't account for the fact that he and I had previously discussed this topic and his preferences regarding it. When I shared the news with my team, he approached me afterwards to ask why he didn't find out in advance or why I hadn't communicated more delicately about the topic. His words were a punch in the stomach.
I had made a decision based on logic. I listed out the pros and cons. I thought through the impact of each option and the possible risks. I weighed the known information and proceeded based on the results. I did not give enough weight to how people would feel. That doesn't mean my decision was wrong or that I would chose differently given a do-over, but I knew from the pain in my stomach that I could have done a better job in how I communicated the news.
Folks familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® are probably nodding because this is a classic example of the T-F dichotomy. This preference pair deals with how people prefer to make decisions, whether by Thinking or Feeling. We all use both, and preferring one does not mean a person is incapable of the other, but we each gravitate toward one or the other.
I consistently demonstrate a preference for Thinking. While I don't necessarily want to change that, I do want to increase my awareness of how my actions impact others. My team member was right to call me out. A decision between two sides inevitably pleases some people and disappoints others. We all know and accept this. But if I want my team members to feel safe and valued, then how I communicate matters.