I speak about courageous communication so often that I have people start conversations by telling me that’s what they are about to do. I love it when they do it because that means we are learning to communicate at a more significant level.
I read an article recently by leadership guru Ken Blanchard. He described why leaders fail to lead. He listed a number of reasons:
“They are concerned they will be criticized unfairly.
They have seen others who stepped up regret it.
They realize they may be shunned when declaring unpopular positions.
They look at the risks and decide not to take a stand.”
All of those may be true. Here’s the deal. Courageous communication is risky. It’s saying things that are awkward. They may be hard to hear. They evoke some resistance.
But, what I’ve learned is the courageous communicator gains respect. People are grateful that the difficult issue has been addressed. Everyone is relieved that it has been opened up for discussion.
I learned the power of courageous communication by mistake. It’s not intuitive to do it. But, the more I engaged in the exercise and saw the results, the more I realized my fears were greater than reality.