Communication Tip: Shovel Your Piles

Commication Tip: shovel your piles

Want to learn more about me? Here’s an article about my coaching business that was featured in PR for People’s Connector magazine. The article is on page 14 and is titled Communication coach helps improve workplace culture.

Communication Tip

One of my key tips that I share in this article is about shoveling your piles before they become larger ones. It’s all about starting small, and dealing with issues as they arise rather than letting them turn in to a much bigger problem.

Don’t wait for a crisis to communicate.  A small issue can turn into a really big one if you don’t deal with it sooner rather than later.

The longer damaging or uncomfortable things are left unspoken, the longer they remain damaging and uncomfortable and the bigger the pile gets, until you eventually have a really big issue or problem to deal with.

Rather than avoiding issues that come up – or hoping they will go away – address them soon after they happen. Don’t wait.

Have the conversation you need to have the first time the issue comes up.

To start the practice of shoveling your piles before they become a big issue, you must say what needs to be said sooner, rather than later.  Always do that in a kind and respectful way.

For example, if something happens that just doesn’t feel right, instead of letting it go, address it. For example:

It seems like you aren’t happy with me. Can we talk about that?

Can you help me understand the problem and how I can help fix it?”

“I’m concerned that this is happening. Can we talk about how to resolve it?”

Learning to shovel your piles is a transforming skill that you can use to change your workplace culture to being more positive, and where issues are dealt with directly and honestly.


Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transform your life at work and at home, 52 Communication Tips, and Gladie’s Gift – all are available on  To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings visit

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