Trust, Care, and Word Choice
If you're an organization leader like me, at some point you've uttered the phrase "I don't care", but what you really meant was I trust you.
If you're an organization leader like me, at some point you've probably uttered the phrase:
I don't care.
to one of your reports.
And you didn't mean that in a callous way. In fact, in context, it went something like:
... I don't care about the implementation details of the project...
Recently it hit me that this lazy shorthand was sending the wrong message.
Because the message I was trying to send wasn't:
I don't care about any of the technical details about the project or process.
I care a ton. I just have a lot of other things on my plate. And, more importantly:
I trust you.
And that's what I'm actually saying.
I trust you to handle the implementation details of the project or process.
I trust your skills, and your judgment. Otherwise I wouldn't be handing this off to you.
I'm working on being more explicit about that trust.
But if I ever slip up, know that I do care. But I trust you to take care of it.