Productive conversations turn conflict into collaboration, reduce costly mistakes and create a culture of accountability.
However, productive conversations are often avoided because of a perceived difficulty in initiating the conversation. I’ve heard everything from, “I don’t want her to cry,” to “I’m afraid of blowing up,” to “It’s the company picnic this week;” to “I can’t afford to lose them.”
What makes a conversation difficult varies from person to person. The variables include the depth of the relationship, the power structures, the timing and experience. But what all avoidance patterns have in common are three things: Fear of the emotional experience, skill level and the unwillingness to do the emotional labor required.
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