When Silence isn’t Golden

What’s the cost to remaining quiet?
Whether it’s in the workplace or at home, carrying the burden of missed or failed conversations takes a toll, causing stress and physical as well as emotional pain. Contrast those discussions (or non-discussions) with conversations we go into feeling powerful or which end on a strong and positive note.
Most of us are familiar with the term ‘the elephant in the room’. It refers to an important as well as obvious topic which everyone is aware of, but which is not discussed because having the discussion would be uncomfortable for some or all of the parties—in other words, a topic which is  ‘undiscussable.’
Here’s a story a colleague told me about at a course I was at in 2010—‘ a man with a drinking problem drove his Oldsmobile into the dining room late one night.  In the morning, his family got up, ate breakfast; all the while no one said a word about the Oldsmobile sitting in the dining room.’
This is what I mean by an undiscussable. When our work or personal relationships are littered with these, we pay a high price. People disengage, productivity decreases, stress-related illness appears and the whole organization or family is affected. As time goes on and we compromise ourselves by not speaking up, resentment grows; people resign, families face a crisis and the damage can be lasting.
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How do we move past this kind of situation?
To move forward, we need to find the courage to be honest with others and ourselves. By working with an executive coach or communication consultant, we can bring emotional awareness to conversations leading to more successful relationships where respect, creative problem-solving and collaboration reside. Everyone involved will experience more authenticity and passion, when they can act with integrity and honour themselves.

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