One of my favorite work-life strategies is, “If I do nothing, it will hopefully go away.” It’s effective when the stakes are low like obnoxious music coming from a neighbor’s house or an email chain to support somebody’s agenda that I shouldn’t have been on in the first place. When the stakes are low, avoidance helps us not sweat the small stuff. It works.
Yet, like every work-life balance strategy if avoidance is overused we miss out on the opportunity to make something better. When we don’t speak up because we have an opposing point of view, or we tolerate repeated insensitive behaviors because we fear a conflict, we are indeed part of the problem. If we do nothing, it will not go away.
Engaging in difficult discussions is the first step toward progress. It stimulates creative thinking and helps others to gain a deeper understanding of their actions and our interpretations. It’s an opportunity to step in and gain greater understanding. So I leave you today with one simple sentence to get the ball rolling. “I need your help with something…” It’s a great way to collaborate with the person or people that we deem to be the source of our conflict and solicit their assistance to help us resolve it. Things do get better, but most of the time it requires some effort.