Tag Archives: avoidance

What Are You Avoiding? – What Conversations Are You Avoiding?

Your central function is to engineer intelligent, spirited conversations…
Susan Scott, Fierce Leadership

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“Your central function is to engineer …conversations.”

Here’s more of the quote:

Your central function is to engineer intelligent, spirited conversations…
Do not, under any circumstances, tell a lie – of either commission or omission.  Do not stretch the truth, exaggerate, or make ___ up to get out of trouble or make yourself look good…
Do not attempt to project different images depending on whom you’re with.  People can spot inauthenticity…  Show up as yourself consistently.  Unless, of course, you are a jackass.
Any single conversation can change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, a life.  Take it one conversation at a time.  Make them fierce.

And

The conversation is the relationship.  …business is fundamentally an extended conversation with colleagues, customers, and the unknown future emerging around us.  What gets talked about in a company and how it gets talked about determines what will happen.  Or won’t happen. 
A leader’s job is to engineer the types of conversations that produce epiphanies. 

So I was having breakfast with a man who leads a major department in a large organization.  He said quite a few things that all deserve a separate blog post.  Here’s one (I have paraphrased his thoughts):

“too often, communication is just ‘telling.’  That is not communication.  Never assume you have successfully delivered a message just because you have said a few words.  Did the other person hear the message; did the other person ‘get’ the message?  Until you know the other person truly got it, you have not communicated.”

We do not have clear communication because we avoid such conversation.  Some conversations that we need to have can be unpleasant.  We don’t want to confront, we do not want to “hurt someone’s feelings.”  And so, because such a conversation is difficult, we avoid having the conversation.  We have all sorts of tricks that we use avoid having the conversations, but avoid we do.

And such avoidance is costly.

Every moment we delay, every moment we put off the conversations that we really need to have, then our avoidance leads to even more difficulties.

What conversations are you avoiding?

(Oh — and just to be a little more pointed, what conversations are you avoiding having with… yourself?)

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In Fierce Leadership, Susan Scott recommends that we keep this form handy, fill it out, and then follow throuh.  Follow through!

• Prepare your own “Conversations I Need to Have” action list:

Name________________________  Topic ________________________________________

Name________________________  Topic ________________________________________

Name________________________  Topic ________________________________________

Name________________________  Topic ________________________________________

Name________________________  Topic ________________________________________

Name________________________  Topic ________________________________________