To be frank, I’m amazed at how many people step around difficulties. Even some otherwise impressive leaders are doing it.Don’t get me wrong. I’m not encouraging you to be too challenging or to take a win/lose approach.
My problem is that way too many leaders are putting their head in the sand and pretending the awkward situation isn’t there.
If You’re An Avoider, Please Stick With Me For A Few Minutes…
—What are you currently avoiding?
I’ve avoided initiating a tricky conversation with a neighbour.
—What’s stopping you from dealing with it?
I like my neighbour. I don’t want her to feel embarrassed, awkward or not like me!
(Whew, it’s good to put that “on paper”. My anxiety about that conversation has already reduced just because I got clear about what was going on in my head).
What Is It Costing You To Avoid The Situation…
- The most massive cost is usually your reduced sense of self-worth. Really, truly, your confidence suffers when there’s something going on in your world that you’re not facing up to.
- Your situation doesn’t get resolved. Sometimes it gets worse. (The molehills tend to turn into mountains and then what happens to your stress level?)
- You lose sleep at night—and don’t function on all cylinders the next day. (And then you’re even more likely to avoid dealing with the tricky stuff.)
- A culture of mediocrity creeps in. Seriously, others notice when you’re avoiding issues and not authentically confronting them.
- Sooner or later your career as a leader is likely to unnecessarily stall.
We could continue to add points to the list. Like the resentment that shows up in your team when you sidestep dealing with a team member’s poor performance.
But we won’t.
We have enough fuel on this fire already, don’t we?
Your Call to Action
Avoiding awkward situations is way too costly.
And hoping it’ll go away isn’t a good strategy either.
Therefore, in the interests of you being a flourishing, upwardly mobile leader who models authenticity and trustworthiness, I want you to consider taking these three steps:
- Digest these two bulletins I wrote a few months ago…
“How To Ease The Stress Of Difficult Conversations”
“Pro Tips For Resolving Conflict” They’ll give you the “how to” for dealing with award situations.
- Gradually expand your comfort zone.
Using those “how to” principles, confront slightly more difficult situations each day/week/month. (You decide how quickly you’ll expand.)
- Have a discussion with me about what you can do to feel confident about confronting.
Email me to arrange a phone conversation. We’ll look at your personal circumstances and chat about what you can do to turn the corner and habitually confront and not avoid—and feel comfortable about doing so.
“My coaching program had me being calmer in difficult situations and earning the trust of others.
Without exaggeration, (it) has been the best investment for me to achieve my career goals.”
— Senior Global Product Manager, medical equipment company
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.