Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Art of Having Difficult Conversations

Two weeks ago was the week of difficult conversations. Ugh. It was exhausting, frankly. And awkward. And  pain-inflicting. Then the difficult conversations didn't stop, but seeped right on into the next week. I don't expect they'll stop any time soon. Leadership is demanding, requiring steel guts and thick skin with tenderness and humility; also, the skill of being direct, even when it's so difficult to plow into the hard conversation.

I hate hurting people yet I am reminded of the Proverb that says, "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." It's an issue of love and depth of relationship, saying the hard thing. I'm not even talking about "tough love" here, but true love. Loving well.

I do not enjoy difficult conversations. But I have learned along the way that steering away from them often leads to an uglier mess than leaning in, so I am trying to handle it with as much grace as I can gather up. Communicating well is an art; one that I humbly submit myself to. Here's to mastering the art of difficult conversations...even when it sucks.


  1. Of course you would post this when I have a few difficult conversations I've been avoiding! It is such an art. Sometimes I feel that I have finally mastered meaningful confrontation, then I clam up, unable to speak. True leadership requires honesty and like you said, love...

  2. Oh Jessi, I'm sorry. It's seriously never fun, but like I've been thinking and said above, it seems to be the better way, to take care of it on the front end. Wishing you luck and wisdom! (And have fun in Utah! :) )