Our reader poll today asks: How comfortable are you with initiating “uncomfortable conversations?”
- Very: When there’s an uncomfortable topic, I proactively bring it up immediately: 5.69%
- Mostly: I may hesitate, but I do bring up the most important uncomfortable topics: 23.92%
- Sort of: Unless it’s a huge issue, I’ll tend to let the issue pass: 9.66%
- Not very: I have a really hard time initiating uncomfortable situations: 7.85%
- Not at all: I’ll avoid these conversations at all costs, let alone starting them: 52.88%
Avoidance leads to bigger issues. A huge percentage of you avoid difficult or uncomfortable conversations at all costs. While this might alleviate stress in the near term, it makes for bigger headaches in the long run. If someone doesn’t know something is wrong about their behavior, not telling them is a disservice to them and you. People can’t correct what they’re unaware of. And avoiding the conversation in the hopes that the behavior just disappears is wishful thinking. Over time, things will just get worse and that mildly uncomfortable conversation can become extremely uncomfortable and problematic. Do yourself a favor – tell them what’s going on. Letting things fester only makes them worse. Your next step after reading this: find time to have that uncomfortable conversation you’ve been avoiding. You might be pleasantly surprised by how well it goes when the other person gets feedback they can act on to improve their performance and their relationship with you.
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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.