A challenging conversation becomes increasingly more challenging the longer you avoid it. What was once a simple and straightforward issue only becomes more complex. Time compounds the situation.
Very few people think they will thrive in situations when they have to confront someone. It can be awkward, unpleasant, and most of all, scary. The range of uncertainty only escalates the “what if” factor. It is easy to focus on the negative.
Yet your success is dependent upon addressing issues as they arise.
To be successful, one must be able to have confrontational conversations in your workplace. When things are not going the way one individual thinks they should, that person has to have the skill-set and support to have that conversation.
I recently read a blog posted on onlinecollege.org titled, 15 Characteristics Correlated with Success. All these characteristics for success supported skillfully having difficult conversations rather than avoiding them.
The first three characteristics listed are personal accountability, resilience, and to be a lifelong learner. These characteristics relate to self-awareness and taking ownership, which are extremely important in all aspects of communication.
When approaching challenging conversations, you must know that you will not have all the answers, and it is vital to be open to learning more about the other’s perspective.
What happens to your organization if the people within it aren’t living up to their full potential? What if they can’t have the conversations essential for their success?
You slowly build a culture of avoidance, one that breeds mediocrity, and creates distance between its people.
Confrontation is a relationship builder.
It is a chance to expand one’s point of view and challenge an idea. It creates space where growth can happen on both the individual and organization level. Success is, by definition, an outcome. Possessing both a strong skill-set and character traits to embrace confrontational conversations is how you get there.
If your culture does not support having these challenging conversations, stop right now and think immediately about how you can begin to change that.