Avoid Artificial Harmony



Are you truly authentic? No, seriously? Do you say what is on your mind in a way that advances the situation? Most people either don’t speak up—or when they do, it’s as if a bomb went off because the anger that has built because of their inept skills at authentic communication caused them to be so angry that it destroyed the relationship.

The “good human” hat requires to deal with conflict before the sun goes down. We’ve all heard of the spouse who goes along for years with something that she feels is intolerable but doesn’t say a word until she files for divorce. Or the employee who is unhappy about something but never makes any requests of her teammates and then one day turns in her letter of resignation—just like he did the at the last job, and the one before that, and the one before that.

The reality is that we all should live by the sun down rule—if something doesn’t settle right with you, make a request of someone before sundown. Notice I didn’t say “complain.” I said, make a request. With that radical candid request comes the need to be no accusatory and to realize that you are at cause for the problem as well. It also requires the ability and willingness to truly listen to the other person’s candid authentic opinions as well. There are always two sides of the story and the danger of people in the workplace who don’t deal with conflict before sundown in productive ways is that they breed a culture of inauthenticity. So, go ask for what you want with a commitment to hear the other side of the story and work toward a resolve.

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