After years of leading workshops and retreats and working with coaching clients, there is almost always this moment when the energy changes. Something I’ve said strikes a nerve, gets to the point, or sheds a light on something true. People perk up and listen, pick up a pen, and begin writing. Yesterday, in a workshop on leading teams, that moment came when I talked about how un-dealt with issues can undermine team strength, erode trust, and cause communication breakdowns. In the room heads nodded as they brought to mind what those unresolved issues and avoided conversations might be in their own teams.
We didn’t talk about the specifics, because that is their work to do in the days ahead, and because I usually teach what I need to hear too, I work to be right there with them. To apply what I am saying to them to my own life. It is safe to say that most of us don’t wake up and hope to have a difficult conversation, face avoided issues, and ask hard questions. It is equally safe to say that the longer we put such things off, the harder they are to face.
Whether talking about an organization, work team, friendship, marriage, NFL team, or a family, developing the skills to address issues as they arise, work through things rather than skirt around them, and keep our “accounts” current, is hard work, but oh such good work. It pays off every time we have the courage to do it, and it costs us every time we don’t.