Have you developed the skill of “courageous communication”?

I don’t know if you noticed, but the times where there aren’t some problems to address are rare.  When problems exist, you have a choice.  Will I address it or tolerate it?

In the end, the condition of the team/family/relationship where you are involved will be based on what is tolerated and what gets addressed.  My experience is that we are all prone to tolerate as compared to confronting problems.  Toleration is easier.  You don’t have to talk about the problem.  You can hope it’s a short-term problem that will go away.

I often quote Jamie Dimon, a successful banking CEO, who says: “Problems don’t age well.”

Dimon operates under the assumption that problems will not solve themselves.  He says that leaders confront issues before they get to big.

The overwhelming concern in “courageous communication” is that you hurt feelings when you do it.  That may be so if you aren’t any good at doing it.

We’ve all been victims of a blunt jerk that embarrassed us with feedback that hurt.  Once we have experienced it, we vow to ourselves not to be the person who hurts with bluntness.

Courageous communication isn’t blunt.  It combines the integrity of problem solving with love and care.  Here’s the logic:

We will all be better if we can get the problem on the table.  Some of the information may be hard to receive especially when you’re doing your best.

But, if you make the problem a task and everyone is committed to solving it, you can eliminate the bluntness, finger pointing, blame and degradation that comes when confrontation is handled poorly.

Care enough to solve the problem.  Care enough to uphold the people involved.  You do this consistently, you can use courageous communication to strengthen your team, your family and your relationships.