I discovered a “fresh take” on courageous communication. Traditionally, I’ve focused on being courageous in bringing up the difficult situation when it needs to be addressed.
My conviction is that we often pass by those opportunities for courage, because we worry about the pain and strain it can cause. We imagine negative outcomes. We imagine damaged relationships. We imagine defensive behavior.
The truth is that courageous communication ends up valuable. Problems are solved. Feelings are surfaced and handled. When handled thoughtfully and respectfully, courageous communication has a healing effect.
Here’s the new take on courage in communicating: it’s courageous to express fears about personal shortcomings.
The willingness to say:
“I don’t get what we are talking about, please try again.”
“I would like to do what your requesting, but I don’t know how.”
“I made a mistake and I need help fixing it.”
“I know I’ve done this before, but I forgot how. Show me.”
“I see this problem, but have no clue how to solve it.”
You get the drift. Being willing to express shortcomings early helps an organization strengthen faster.
Saying “I don’t know” and getting educated raises competencies.
It’s courageous to set pride down and show vulnerability. That’s where teamwork picks up.