Do You Have a Pile That Needs Shoveling?

by Betty Lochner on December 1, 2013


Shovel while your piles are small


When we can no longer change a situation,

we are challenged to change ourselves.

~ Viktor Frankl


shovel your pilesDon’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 one day – Kaboom! You 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?”, or, “Can you help me understand the problem and how I can help fix it?”, or, “I’m concerned that this is happening. Can we talk about how to resolve it?”

Speak your truth sooner rather than later, and mind your piles.


If you’d like to have all 52 Communication Tips, you can order the book of the entire collection.   It’s a great tool for weekly staff meetings or family dinners to begin to improve your communications skills, one tip at a time.

Betty LochnerBetty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on




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