Brave and awkward conversations
I stared down at my shoes. I knew I wanted to say it. But the words weren’t coming. I could taste the awkward. I began to talk myself out of it.
And then I remembered what Crystal said.
I had never actually spoken to Crystal. But she spoke to me. As I sat quietly in the theatre awaiting the film screening of Us and Them (a compelling documentary on homelessness), onto the stage walked a gentle and captivating woman – an Indigenous artist named Crystal. Before playing her drum she invited us to… be brave. Have awkward conversations.
All the awkward conversations of my life now raced through my mind. Asking for what I need. Giving tough feedback to an employee (or a peer). Sharing my truth.
I recalled hearing, years ago:
We don’t feel brave before we do a difficult thing: we just feel afraid.
We feel brave afterward.
So I lifted my eyes from my shoes. Took a deep breath. And said what I needed to say.
The weight lifted. Freedom!
So – what conversation are you avoiding? Do you have feedback to give, an apology to offer, or a burning question to ask?
To take away a little of the awkward, I’ll share 4 simple prompts to engage in a Conscious Conversation:
- I appreciate… (your strengths / struggles / that you’re here in this conversation – this is empathy)
- I notice… (say what you see without judgement)
- I need/expect/feel… (your ask or feedback or apology)
- What do you notice? (let’s talk – I’m listening)
I sometimes repeat that cycle multiple times before we’re complete. At other times it’s a short delivery and we’re done.
Yes, it’s awkward. And no, they may not agree with me. And yes, the anticipation nearly kills me every time. But as I leave the conversation I feel incredibly free.
As I coach Conscious Leaders to lean into such conversations they realize the enormous impact in moving THEM forward, their STAFF forward, and their PURPOSE forward.
It’s time to elevate.
Do it at home. Do it at work. Do it with grace and empathy.
And prepare to walk away feeling brave.
Ready for more Conscious Leadership – take Rhonda’s course starting September 2019 in Kelowna, BC. Updated content and schedule now online. Don’t delay!