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The difficult conversations

Organisational transformation isn’t a walk in the park. It involves people and change, two concepts that don’t always go together so well. Change involves thinking and acting differently, but what should we do if we observe others continuing in the old ways? This is when difficult conversations become necessary.

I think it’s human nature (at least for some) to avoid these difficult discussions. We hold back on saying what we really mean, thereby robbing others (and indeed, ourselves) the opportunity to grow.

We don’t see our own blind spots. Others certainly do. If we don’t point these out to each other, how are we supposed to grow? (Unless of course we don’t want to grow, which is an entirely different problem for another post.)

If we don’t believe others can change, we’re not going to expend the energy giving them feedback. These discussions aren’t easy. It can be awkward, uncomfortable and really taxing to find the right words and phrasing to end up in a better place than you started. So we think: “Why bother? That person is so entrenched in their ways there is no way they’re going to change anyway. I’ll just avoid them and hope the issue resolves itself.”

But if we do believe in people’s capacity for change (and we’d like others to believe that of us wouldn’t we?) then we know that our respectful and caring feedback just might be the catalyst for change, allowing them to see the stuff they usually can’t and giving them the opportunity to do something about it.

It’s you choice whether you help others grow. It’s their choice to do something about it.

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