My very good friend, Wealthy Thought Leader Andrea J. Lee (you can listen to her on my podcast right here) just came out with a new book “We Need To Talk — Your Guide to Challenging Business Conversations” which has inspired this post today.
What Andrea explains in her book is that by not having these conversations, as difficult as they may be, we’re hurting ourselves more than we realize. Unsaid difficult conversations create stress in our lives and our businesses — and the more stress you’re under, the less likely you’ll be able to grow and nurture your business the way you want to.
But it goes even deeper than that — much of the conflict and violence in the world can be traced back to unsaid difficult conversations. The combination of people not getting their needs met coupled with the weight of all the things that desperately want to said and are instead being denied and stuffed down, is being channeled into unhelpful and destructive aggression.
For myself, I’ve also noticed unsaid difficult conversations sucks my energy — I have so much pent up energy in whatever I’m avoiding talking about, I don’t have the energy or even the space to work on the things I want to be working on (and will be moving me forward in my business). But once I have those difficult conversations, it’s truly amazing what opens up (in fact I wrote about it here: The Writing Life — The Fine Art of a Difficult Conversation)
And, of course, there’s the very real issue that without having a difficult conversation, you continue to be stuck with whatever the problem is — whether that’s a team member who isn’t performing, a client who isn’t paying or being overly demanding (or both), a partner who isn’t pulling their own weight, or whatever is going on. And think about how just dealing with those problems can drag your business down like an anchor.
Now, it’s one thing to realize it’s time to have those difficult conversations, and quite another to actually have it — and have it with grace and respect. If you’re not sure how to successfully navigate having a difficult conversation, I would highly encourage you to grab Andrea’s book. Plus, if you buy before June 5, Andrea is donating a matching copy (up to 1000 copies) to a worthy non-profit that’s supporting entrepreneurs. Just go to WeNeedToTalkGuide.com for all the details.