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My worst fear

My worst fears

This is a discussion I get into on occasion with some of the folks I coach. How to overcome the fear that they have that a particular interaction was going to be bad.

Many years ago this was something I would wrestle with. How to give meaningful and authentic feedback that needed to be given and more importantly was critical to be heard. Feedback doesn’t have to be hurtful, it should be helpful and the recipient needs to know that your intentions in giving it are about making them more successful.

One leader I worked with was far better than me at giving praise in a regular and timely fashion. I have to stay self aware to make sure I give authentic praise. I know it pays dividends, it just isn’t as natural as it needed to be. This particular leader though couldn’t step up to the difficult conversations. To help I had them share three conversations they had or should have had in the past week and explored why they did or did not go well.

The first was “A conversation that went really well and what impact it had.” Then “A conversation that didn’t go as well as they would have liked. Finally we talked about “A conversation I need to have but haven’t yet.”

By keeping that last list at the top of mind it became easier to just step up to the conversation.

I’m a big fan of Mark Twain. Another of his insightful sayings says it best--

“I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

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