What’s Scarier on Halloween: Demons or a Tough Conversation?

This Halloween, what would you prefer to do?

Wake up, spend time dressing in a costume instead of your work duds and arrive at the office being one of the few who is dressed up?

OR – Have a difficult, face-to-face conversation with someone you KNOW you need to have but it’s has been too painful to think about conducting?

Nine out of ten people choose the Halloween get up. Because the tough conversation is SCARIER!

The reason? We’ve held on to feelings and thoughts for a while now. When the conversation is had, we are frightened we will blow or the main event — the message –will be sugar coated and the other person will miss our point.

We avoid difficult conversations because they are uncomfortable and hard. Yet, the more they are avoided, the harder it becomes to get the topic out in the open.

Day by day, the ties we have with the person deteriorate.  Then, there is not a thing left. Relationships disappear.

Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott is a great book. It stresses this point — the conversation IS the relationship.

I ask you: What conversations are you avoiding this very minute? Think about it in a different way. You can build a relationship now. Not having the difficult conversations will actually be detrimental. 

To get started, answer these questions:

1) What key message do I want and/or need to deliver?

2) What is the effect to the situation?

3) How am I impacting the future if I avoid the scary conversation?

Here’s an even SCARIER thought. Actually jot down your answers. This will provide you more confidence in managing difficult conversations.

TRUTH: Relationship building isn’t as disturbing as losing the relationship.

Be fearless! You can do it! This Halloween, face your demons!

Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at mduesterhoft@people-results.com.