When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~ Viktor Frankl
Here’s one of my all time favorite tips: 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 right away.
Most of us are conflict adverse – we hate it. We put it off. We pretend it isn’t there – or isn’t that bad. But, the truth is that 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. One that could have been prevented or minimized.
So, 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. It’s usually not easy and hardly ever fun, but if you practice you really will get better at it. And the rewards are sweet – better relationships and way less stress!
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 respectable way.
If something happens that just doesn’t feel right, instead of letting it go, have the courage to address it as soon as it happens. For example say, “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.
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 transforming your life at work and at home. To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings visit:
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