I recently had the opportunity to hear Joseph Grenny speak at a conference. The author of such books as "Crucial Conversations" and "Crucial Confrontations", Mr. Greeny spoke with candor about dealing with the tough conversations we've been ignoring. Two points stood out to me the most and I'd love to share them with you.
The myth we believe: you must choose between telling the truth and keeping a friend.
When deciding whether or not to confront a co-worker, friend, or family member, we sometimes avoid the conversation because we've been convinced we will lose our friend. This is a lie.
Patrick Lencioni once said that if we truly care about the people that matter to us, we'll give them the helpful feedback that they need. Could things get rocky? Sure. But what does it say about us to avoid giving them the feedback that they critically need to succeed? It would you better for you -- their friend, their teammate, their boss -- to give them the feedback than someone who simply doesn't care.
Stop making excuses and have the conversation you know must be had.
You can measure the health of a team by measuring the amount of “undiscuss-ables.”
This one floored me and has echoed in my head for a few weeks now.
Think about teams, companies, or families where you could cut the tension with a knife. You look around and all you see is dysfunction. Now think about all the things that simply couldn't be talked about. That underperforming sales exec. The CEO running the company into the ground. The engineer who is too valuable to lose. The longer these conversations go without resolution, the more sickness creeps in.
What conversations are you avoiding? Maybe it's time to have the crucial conversations you know need to happen.