Communication – this is the buzzword that brings me the most irk! I absolutely believe it is vital, a foundational issue when it comes to resolving any conflict, business or personal. I also believe it is the most difficult aspect, requiring a skill set that very few of us really have – or use. It isn’t just about how you communicate; more than half the battle may be in DOING the communicating at all, rather than avoiding it in the first place.
This has been an issue in my own life. While I consciously work to develop better communication skills so that I can both help others achieve their own success, as well has help my team work together for higher levels of success, I am also guilty of failing to communicate at all. This happens most often with issues that I am struggling with, where I often make a decision, or avoid a decision, without allowing anyone else in the loop. I am very independent by nature, so I do this often, too often. I bet you probably do too.
I have been dealing with a very old, deeply personal issue lately, one that at the very root of the conflict was failure to communicate with the person/people around me that could help resolve it. Sharing it would cause pain for another person, which was part of why I kept the issue to myself. I finally did open up and share the truth, and indeed, there was great pain on both sides. But after a few days of reflection and continued, open communication, the issue that I had built up in my head to be a huge mountain had already crumbled to no more than a pile of rubble that could be dealt with rock-by-rock. Additionally, it has led to a level of honest, open communication with the other person than we never previously experienced, and is already showing fruit of a more positive relationship.
Lack of communication can in itself be cancerous to your organization, your family, your life. It will feed, rather than alleviate, a conflict. Ignoring the problem is lack of communication. Smoothing it over as less than it really is when confronted with it is lack of communication. Avoiding the topic is lack of communication. Trying to deal with it on your own (unsuccessfully) is lack of communication.
And here is the coaching moment – I decided to get help on my communication skills to resolve this emotional issue from an experienced therapist. I needed someone to help me sort through the many facets of the issue, organize them, and find a way to share them with the person/people I needed to help me resolve it. I would not be much of a coach if I didn’t believe that all of us need outside, unbiased, non-judgmental help once in a while to move forward in our personal life, business, career, etc. I know I did, and still do. Keep communicating, and you’ll be surprised at how many mountainous issues get resolved to rubble quickly!