I am regularly surprised by the lack of conversational courage in professional circles these days. Not every conversation ends up with a great outcome. Sometimes you must deliver disappointing information. You may even have to let someone go or fire them. You might have to tell a vendor you’ve decided to work with someone else. […]
I find that most of us tend to avoid the emotionally difficult or awkward conversation. Instead of addressing an issue head on, we “beat around the bush” or try and avoid the issue altogether. This puts the onus on the other person to become a verbal detective and/or force the issue. This isn’t fair to them or us. Moreover, I find that most of these types of exchanges devolve into a passive-aggressive dynamic which is unhealthy for the relationship. You ever notice that avoidance never works – it just delays the inevitable. In matters of importance to you or someone else, when you don’t say what you truly mean (or feel) this is the textbook definition of be inauthentic as fellow human being.
Very rarely do traumatic events just come out of the blue for no reason. Usually there have been some lingering symptoms that tried to get your attention, but you were too busy, distracted, or just didn’t want to address the issue. The problem is that avoidance never works and at some point you will have to deal with the consequences of your inaction. Sadly, many people ignore important health signs and end up with a much worse outcome as a result. Your body just like your business is always trying to communicate with you and let you know when things aren’t quite right.
Too often in life we respond to situations the way we think we should rather than expressing our true feelings. We build up walls around our emotions to prevent others from seeing our personal vulnerabilities. It’s sad but most of us have grown up believing that our emotional reaction to something is either good or bad rather than part of being human.
I continue to be fascinated and a bit troubled by people who claim an unwillingness to grow or change. They seem to live by the Popeye motto, “I am what I am” and assume everyone else will simply accept this point of view whether they like it or not. Our actions and behaviors will always have consequences both good and bad. The goal should be to maximize the good and limit the bad.
Most of us prefer comfort over discomfort. We’d rather not deal with the difficult challenges and procrastinate until the very last minute or until we are forced into action. You see this every day in business and in life. Sadly, the longer we wait to address something the worse it usually gets.