I find that in my workplace culture work, there’s a tremendous amount of time and energy spent hoping and trying not to hurt someone’s feelings or upset someone. Likely, a particular someone.
Perhaps you feel this way. If you do, may I suggest…
You can’t walk on eggshells – really, try it. Crunch, crunch, and because you can’t help yourself to try one more time, crunch. The situation is unwinnable.
There’s likely a good chance that your fear, hesitancy and apprehension cause the tension and this “someone’s” sensitivity to be worse.
So instead, try this to stop the anxiety-producing, tension-filled insanity:
One – Ask yourself, where is this fear coming from? Is this real? Is this a self-created story or is there genuine reason to have concern? If it’s between your two ears, forgive yourself, knock it off and choose your own adventure. If you have genuine reason, proceed to step two.
Two – Take real time to be real present (no fly by) to be real deal. Make face-to-face eye contact – via video if you can’t be in the same room. Try a little tenderness. Start by letting this person know you struggle. Let them know you’re afraid to say or do the wrong thing. You’re afraid you will hurt their feelings or upset them. Tell them why you’re afraid – where this fear comes from. Tell them you care about your relationship with them and don’t want this fear to linger between the two of you. Let them know your intentions. Ask them about their experience. Listen. A lot.
Then ask for what you need. Ask them what they need. Rise to reasonable requests of one another and negotiate those requests that don’t resonate.
Piece of cake. You’ve got this, now go make it happen captain. You’ll sleep better tonight if you do.
Kris Boesch is the CEO and Founder of Choose People, a company that transforms company cultures, increases employee happiness and boosts the bottom-line. She is a nationally renowned speaker and workplace culture expert. Boesch is also the author of Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace and developer of the Choose People 360° Culture Audit. Kris is also a proud mother, dancing diva and dog lover.