Saying What Needs to be Said

Are you a role model of the coaching culture you aspire to build?

Coaching cultures are built on trust and integrity. I think one of the toughest elements of embodying a coaching consciousness is the willingness to maintain trust and integrity in our relationships. That means saying what needs to be said to keep our relationships clean and clear.

It’s not always easy to say what needs to be said. However, avoiding difficult conversations can drain the trust out of important relationships, sometimes to the point that we abandon the relationships because they lose their shared value.

Diminishing or losing relationships because we won’t step up to the plate and say what needs to be said is a failure of our responsibility as partners in our relationships. Valuable relationships are deepened by our willingness to play full out in them. Sometimes that means saying what needs to be said.

You know that “something needs to be said” when something is bothering you about a situation. You have some emotional energy about it. A conversation may be needed to get back to a place of clarity and shared understanding.

The first thing to do is notice if you’re “caught.” Listen to the story you’re telling yourself about the situation. If you’re putting the other person down, blaming the other person in some way, or have an emotional edge about the situation, you’re probably caught.

Establish a personal policy right here and now: Do not speak to others from a caught place

When you speak from a place of being caught, your fears, judgments, frustrations and anger seep through your dialogue, even if you think you’re hiding them. You’re not. They’re coming through loud and clear in the little digs, the edge of blame, and the overtone of judgment. It’s all there. Often, that’s all the other person hears. That’s not exactly a message that will build trust and deepen commitment.

In order to say what needs to be said you need to come from a place of curiosity and compassion. Ask yourself, “What does the other person believe is true?” and “What is the other person not aware of?” Remember that whatever the person is doing, it makes perfect sense to him or her.

How can you compassionately help the person to see what he or she is not aware of in a way that will deepen and further your relationship? What’s the shared or higher good here? Speak to that and you will be able to say what needs to be said in ways that deepen relationships and role models the trust and integrity that coaching cultures are founded upon.

Saying What Needs to be Said

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