avoid conflict

The Conversation You are Not Having

10 Sep
by Bridget DiCello

Complain, Complain, Complain

We complain because we have what we believe is a legitimate concern that we really want to see addressed.

We complain to those who we think care.  Because they are good listeners, because they react and/or empathize, or we believe they have the power to solve it.

And we complain to ourselves, because we will always listen!  Although this may get to the point of creating unhealthy and unproductive thought patterns.

Behind every complaint from you, to you, or from and to you, there is a conversation that you are not having with the person/people about whom the complaint revolves.

Why do you not address something that bugs you?  Let’s get the excuses out of the way.

Excuse:  “I can’t change them anyway!”

You are right.  You cannot change them.  Are you afraid they will change you?  They may change, but it will be because they want to.

Excuse:  “They’ll think I’m being petty.”

If something is very important to you, then it matters, and there is opportunity for synergistic greatness, even if it starts small.

Excuse:  “I don’t have the authority.”

So what?  Done right, you are a person concerned about something important to both of you – and you can make a difference.

Excuse:  “It will cause a rift in the relationship.”

Hasn’t it already, for you?

Excuse:  “I know what they are going to say already!”

Do you?  Great, then you can prepare better for the conversation.

Excuse:  “I’ll get upset once we start talking.”

So what is it that you need to do to maintain your peace during the conversation?  Do you know what brings you peace?

Take the bull by the horns

Have the difficult conversation.  Can you thrive on that conflict, out of which come their frustrations and ideas, and your frustrations and ideas – a combination full of opportunities for creation of something cool?  You have to believe that’s possible first!

Getting into the conversation can be the hardest thing to do.  Showing up is half the battle.  Decide to have the conversation, then be honest and phrase things in a way that avoids personal attacks.

What do you expect?

Setting expectations is very important.  Spend a moment determining your main objective(s) of the conversation.  If “…” happens, this will have been a success.  Keep your initial expectations to a very small step.  Those are very hard to take, and taking them will yield positive momentum.

“What’s really important to me in this conversation is…”  You cannot climb a mountain in one step – no matter how great of a climber you are.

Stop!  If the conversation is unproductive, agree to step away for a while, to think or to cool down.  Agree to do this if it becomes necessary, before you start the conversation.

Believe in Greatness!

Believe great things can happen – out of conversation and through the people with whom you are interacting.   The greatness you expect becomes the foundation for productive conversation.

Your Unique Voice

31 Jan
by Bridget DiCello

You can get a lot done by talking.  You can get a lot done by listening well.  In general, you can accomplish great things by having powerful conversations effectively.

What is it that YOU need to talk about?

Each of us has things we feel passionate about, ways that customers should be treated, standards to which we hold our peers and vendors, and strategies we believe will deliver what our customer demands, whether it is your boss (internal customer) or an external customer.

Why is it that you don’t speak up?

Do you ever hold back, even if you feel strongly about something?  It should be done a certain way, and it’s not happening that way?  Everyone should participate and they don’t?

You may hold back if:

  • you know it will be a tough conversation, and you don’t want to create conflict;
  • you’ve convinced yourself it’s a small detail (although it matters to you) and it’s not worth the argument;
  • you know someone will have good excuses that are tough to argue;
  • you know you disagree and may not feel like sorting through where you’re right and they’re wrong, and where they’re right and you’re wrong…

Do you avoid those conversations?

Avoidance of conflict, and lack of value put on the bold thinker – sucks the life out of many organizations.  Each one of us has high standards for ourselves and others, even if we may have buried those under bureaucracies, people with stronger personalities, and avoidance of irritating daily challenges that try to prevent us from moving forward.

Let your unique voice speak!

These passions are what are most unique and awesome about you!  These are what you can most offer your company and yourself!  When you routinely listen to yourself and share what is important to you, you will bring out your highest potential and your God-given greatness!

Listen to your unique voice, don’t squelch what wants to coming screaming out, don’t believe others when they tell you it doesn’t matter, and get impatient and find your determination to make positive change happen.

You must speak up, and when you do, you must use the Opportunity Space well – that moment before you speak.  You must communicate in a way that both conveys the urgency you feel, and takes into account where the other person is coming from and how what you will say and how you will say it, will make them feel.