Being authentic in relationships requires the courage to take on conversations that feel risky.
What is a courageous conversation? It is a term that is tossed about by coaches as though everyone knows what the term means. A courageous conversation is one where you communicate authentically with the intention to create an important outcome…even when it is risky or scary to do so. Sometimes it involves operating outside of the local cultural norms or conventions about what’s safe or what is expected.
What isn’t one? What isn’t a courageous conversation is when you express whatever you think, whenever you think it, without any filters. Wearing your emotions on your sleeve isn’t courageous. Operating with a cavalier “take me or leave me” or an “I just gotta be me” attitude. It’s not being outcome-focused.
You can take steps to manage the risks in your conversations and increase your odds of creating important task and relationship outcomes by thoughtfully managing the choices you make before and during your courageous conversations.
The most effective leaders take steps to create and maintain a culture where egos are less threatened by unfiltered information flow so that “tough conversations”… or healthy conflict no longer feel so risky.
How does your company culture allow for courageous conversations?