Aug 21 2012
Turning awkward into opportunity

Turning Awkward into Opportunity

By Scott Hackman, Family Business Advisor, DVFBC

Every leader is faced with telling stories to enact the change we seek. These are stories that come to us in the middle of the night or while listening to an employee or family member. Most people struggle with the challenge of letting go of a story that is no longer true in the midst of pain. Pain is often caused when a member of the family crosses a boundary; they thereby hurt themselves and often others in the family business through their actions. Our team often calls upon us as leaders to confront hurtful behavior in others. We find ourselves facing an awkward conversation.

What experience teaches us about these awkward conversations is that they are the next generation’s opportunity to enact the change they seek.

Embracing this opportunity, the next generation can:

1.  Start by apologizing for not being clear about the boundaries and expectations
2.  Affirm or ask for the clarity about the underlying desire of the person who crossed the boundaries
3.  Provide a list of 4 things they want this person to do and 4 things they do not want them to do.

Let’s Change the Conversation

Often conversations bring about change. They provide the possibility for organic influence to take place. However, we need structures to have conversations that serve the common goal of the organization/company. Leaders shoulder the responsibility of enacting the changes they seek, one awkward moment at a time.

I believe that the Leadership Labs become the incubators for the next generation leader to practice the opportunity conversation. We know this is an opportunity because it feels awkward and uncomfortable. Furthermore, I believe that the Leadership Labs allow the leader a safe place to fail in the company of leaders who have also failed. Failure means that you tried. Therefore, failure means that you learned. Learning involves seeking and gaining clarity. In conclusion, clarity provides the courage to act out the changes we seek for abundance and flourishing in family and business!

Recent Comments

  • 08.21.12

    By: Heather Chandler

    Great blog, Scott! A framework for difficult conversations is a huge help since they can be so emotional and easily derailed. The framework can bring the conversation back to topic and ensure both parties leave with a plan.

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