Today I had a few difficult conversations that were long overdue. They were being avoided on both sides because it just seemed easier to hope that the situation would clear itself up and go away. In fact, the exact opposite happened. By not addressing the elephant in the room, over time, the situation only got worse. Time to think can be both good and bad. In this case, it left more opportunity to stew over the past and construct stories and plots that weren’t based in facts, but rather in perceptions. These conversations weren’t comfortable. They weren’t fun. They dealt with topics that had done serious damage to personal and business relationships. Things were said that people didn’t want to necessarily hear, but that needed to be said.
The results were amazing and unexpected. Instead of a heated argument, there was a candid conversation. The expected digs and backhanded comments were replaced with sincere discussions of feelings and thoughts. Everyone was given a chance to state their case and clear up misconceptions. I know that I walked away with a weight lifted off my chest and some things to reflect on about myself.
Although the long-term results from this discussion can’t be determined for days, weeks, and months to come, it was a great way to attempt to restart and refresh. Today, I learned that unless you are ready to completely walk away from a situation or relationship, which is easier said than done, that you owe it to that person or those people, and more importantly to yourself, to directly engage and address the issues. Even if the relationships are damaged beyond repair, there is something to be said about the mutual respect that can be gained from just sitting down and “airing it out”.
- Handling Difficult Conversations (organisationallearninganddevelopment.wordpress.com)