One of my all-time favorite shows on TV is Jane the Virgin (it has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s an exceptional work of art in these days of banal scripts and mediocre acting).
Currently, a torrid romance is brewing between one of the protagonists Petra, and her lawyer JR.
The two share an electric chemistry: they’re both smart, funny, scheming, sophisticated. The sex is sizzling too from what we’re told 😉
There’s one problem though.
JR doesn’t like kids.
And Petra is the mom of 4-year old twins.
So what do the two do?
They carry on regardless.
Petra’s probably thinking: “I’m sure JR will change her mind as she spends more time with me and the kids.”
JR’s probably thinking: “I’m sure it won’t be a big deal. We’ll figure it out later.”
Except that there is no later.
Life is now. Life is here.
Too often we have a tendency to gloss over uncomfortable, awkward realities because they mess with the nice feelings of the present moment.
Petra and JR, by ignoring this issue are allowing a giant rock to be placed in the river of their love. It will disrupt the flow and ease of their connection over time if they don’t discuss and share their perspectives right away.
We’re all guilty of this, irrespective of the kind of relationship:
You might have a great boss but she has a habit of interrupting you so you choose to ignore this disrespect.
You might have a client who has a history of making late payments but he’s giving you regular business so you choose not to bring it up.
You might be dating someone who seems careless with money, but everything else is going so well, so you decide not to upset the apple cart.
Well, little things become big things if not addressed.
The sooner they’re addressed, the better. We’re able to conserve precious time, energy and resources in the long run, if we can cultivate the courage to address stuff as it happens.
Today I invite you to…
Put your courage-cap on and start with a small annoyance. Is there something you need to clear out/address with someone?
Conscious communication frameworks can drastically change your relationships with yourself, your leadership and those around you. Here’s one I share often with clients, designed by Dr. Rosenberg
Step 1: Share what you observe
Stick to the facts and describe what’s actually happening objectively – no judgments or interpretations.
Eg. “When during meetings, I observe you interrupting me…
Step 2: Share your feelings
How does the observation above make you feel?
Eg. “I feel excluded and hurt, as if my expertise and ideas don’t matter…
(notice the first two steps aren’t about finger-pointing or blaming. They’re designed to keep the focus on you and how you feel. Self-responsibility is a hallmark of mindful leaders)
Step 3: State what do you need or value
Clearly, state what would enrich your life without demanding
Eg. “What I need is to feel like a valuable contributor to our project and it’s mission…
Step 4: Make your request
Now state exactly what would enrich your life and work. I love the words ‘Would you be willing to….’ they’re non-threatening, open and inviting.
“Would you be willing to listen without interrupting to my contribution at the next meeting…?”
There. Your courage-cap just enabled you a seat and voice at the table. High-five to you :*
As leaders, our courage caps need to stay on ALL the time – so we can boldly explore new possibilities, shift old paradigms and step out of our comfort zone to do better, greater work.
Who do you need to have a courageous conversations with?