The term ‘Courageous Conversation’ gets thrown around a lot in leadership development without a whole lot of explanation of what it is or how it has the potential to improve your leadership.
A Courageous Conversation is when you take ownership, cast aside fears, and have a difficult conversation with courage. It isn’t just picking which conversation you are scared of the most and jumping in. Those conversations typically get avoided. It requires genuine intention and self-reflection to pinpoint where in your life these conversations need to take place and why. I don’t blame you for fearing these tough conversations and avoiding them, but I will guarantee that avoidance will not help you achieve that development plan you have set out for yourself.
Authenticity Over Perception
For this conversation to be courageous, you must be authentic in yourself and what you want out of the discussion. If you are not approaching conversations with authenticity, what is the point? You and the person you are communicating with both deserve the truth and the entire truth. With honesty and transparency, you and the other person will come out of the discussion with real workable solutions.
Authenticity within these conversations is essential, and the more you have these conversations, the easier it is to show up authentically. You are no longer masked as whatever leader you are perceived as; instead, you have the opportunity to become the leader the people you serve need and the leader that you want to be.
Clearing Out the Junk
According to an article in Coaching at Work, 2018, 90% of leaders do not address poor performance or difficult behavior effectively. Of these 90%, 70% are either unable or unwilling to have the courageous conversation needed to address the issue. More research found that 20% of leaders are unable to have the conversation without using an aggressive style, while only 10% are having conversations with clarity and purpose rather than blaming or shaming the other.
These statistics speak on their own and they could be applied to out-of-work situations as well. If you can’t have the conversation in the workplace, how will you have the conversation in other realms of your life? Why are we stopping ourselves from being free of all of the junk we carry around inside of us? Why are we stopping ourselves from having better relationships with the people we serve and the people we love? Courageous conversations allow you to lift the weights off your shoulders and heart and give you the capacity you need to build strong relationships and keep yourself free of all of the junk.
Join Greg for the free Courageous Conversations webinar this week on Thursday, June 10! Learn more about the importance of Courageous Conversation and get access to the Courageous Conversations Workbook. Register now!
Dig deeper on the topic:
Why Having Courageous Conversations at Work Will Boost Innovation
Courageous Conversations: 9 Leaders Telling Brave Stories