Have you ever stopped the words about to roll off your tongue for any of the following reasons?
- You thought you could possibly hurt someone’s feelings.
- You didn’t know how they would react.
- No one wanted your opinion anyway.
Afterwards, when that thing you were meaning to comment on but didn’t, continued to happen in a way you didn’t like, how did that make you feel? Were you uncomfortable leaving it unsaid? Did it work out for you? Was everybody really happy?
And later, when you finally HAD to share your opinion, what was the result?
Okay, you know where we’re going here so we won’t beat a dead horse. We like horses. That whole phrase is really awful actually.
At Admin Slayer, one of our 5 Simple Rules*, developed in our first year retreat, is:
Communicate honestly, respectfully, and fully.
In other words: say what you mean, and mean what you say. Being honest means telling the whole story, not just the bits you know will be accepted or minimize conflict. Say what needs saying, even if you know it’s not what your listener wants to hear, right at this moment.
You can be honest and direct without being hurtful. Really - it’s true.
It may feel aggressive at the time, but it’s a whole lot better than letting things fester. The longer an important thing goes unsaid, the greater the negative impact. Remember that being passive is not the same thing as being cooperative - it’s actually a great deal more aggressive to (without words) demand that the other person guess what you are feeling or thinking.
It’s saying to the people around you, “I’m not going to do the work of communicating - I’m going to delegate that work to you.”
Guess what? That really pisses people off.
If you were looking to avoid a fight, that wasn’t the way to do it. Addressing conflict early can minimize the damage, and demonstrate that you’re invested in the relationship, and in doing the hard work of communicating with kindness. Oh, and you don’t need to apologize - especially for doing your job.
As you know, we believe in the strength of collaboration and team building. We really do want you to get out there and disrupt. The thing is, with business (and life), this one thing keeps coming up. It’s people. They’re everywhere. And you have to communicate with them. Effectively.
We want you to succeed, so we’re asking you: could you use your words?
*Admin Slayer’s 5 Simple Rules were developed with Pam Schmidt, facilitator extraordinaire. These rules were developed by Slayers as the ones they will uphold in order to achieve their collective goals and vision. We’re awfully proud of them, and grateful for Pam, who found a way to help Slayers use their words.
- Utilize and support your team
- Communicate honestly, respectfully, and fully
- Think BIG
- Stretch yourself comfortably
- Be proactive, find solutions - Get It Done!