Updated: Dec 12, 2019
In conversation with a dear friend and colleague one day, Jayne told me the story of working as a member of an Executive Council through a dramatic situation that threatened the institutions leadership and as a result the entire organization. Unhappy with the lack of concrete action by the Executive Council and especially the Chair, Jayne prepared a document offering advice and concrete steps that she felt would move the situation forward. Before pressing Send she shared the document with a seasoned leader. He listened to the story, read the document, and then asked one question: “What-if this letter was written in such a way that it made the Chair a better leader?”
As Jayne shared this with me I could feel all the inner alerts firing up within me, most of them were rather dramatic and full of emotional waste. I felt the desire to justify the need for someone to be corrected, the need to be right, the need to patronize the one who didn’t get it, just to name a few. As I reflected on how I felt and how that made everything seem so overblown, I realized that it was exactly that emotional response and then acting on that level of strong emotion that causes us to get stuck, to be unable to move forward.
What conversation have you been avoiding?If you were to approach the conversation with this What-If twist how would it look and feel different and produce more positive outcomes?Define your plan and make yourself accountable to carry through on it.