Uncomfortable Conversations

Seth Godin asks, “Who is making you uncomfortable?” and warns that insulating ourselves from uncomfortable conversations benefit no one.

Avoiding the uncomfortable encounters with colleagues and staff means we forfeit the power of self-awareness and insight…the stuff that sparks growth and breakthrough.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the giving  or receiving end of the difficult conversation, growth is possible for all involved.

The issue of course is what we do with this new information and knowledge. Those who are highly resilient have trouble absorbing the lessons and move on to quickly. The sensitive are at risk of getting angry or falling into despair.  But those who are committed to being their best let the message in.  They absorb the full impact, no matter how painful, and come out stronger, wiser and more effective.

Get the feedback.  Let it make you better.


You can say all the right things

…but are you convincing?

Few things can be more frustrating than a person who tells you what you want to hear, but fails to persuade you that they mean it. You know, those times when you’re looking a person in the eye and you hear them saying all the right things; and yet, in your deepest being you know that person is manipulating you and  has no intention of backing up their words with corresponding actions.

We all want to believe what others are telling us.  What’s amazing to me is that many of us will go to great lengths to convince ourselves that the person intends to do what they say, even when our personal experience with them indicates otherwise.  We pride ourselves in having given them the benefit of the doubt.

How many times are we expected to give the inconsistent ones among us the benefit of the doubt?

The best action to take for everyone involved is to give yourself the benefit of the doubt and trust your experience with those who say one thing and habitually do another.  You’re not the one with the problem.  Unless of course you so choose.


Elevating Potential

The art of confronting performance is the ability to analyze talent and taking the time to help people tap into their full talent capability.  This is a critical first step defined in the 5 Coach Actions of the Player-Coach Leader® model.

Spotting latent talent in people involves the daily practice of intentional observation.  Leaders often become consumed with busy work, meetings and administrative tasks.  It’s tempting to rationalize busyness.  That’s largely because being busy is the easier path; however, it’s the path that yield’s the least in relation to future talent and ensuring that you have the right team down the road.

Leaders are in the people business.  The great ones understand that paying attention to who they have around them is job one.

Take stock of how much quality time you dedicate to thinking deeply about the people around you and how they’re doing.  Next, tell them what you’ve observed.  If they could do better, let them know.  If they’re knocking it out of the park, thank them and encourage them to keep it up.