Here’s to the troublemakers: Embracing difficult conversations

Thought Leadership on Leadership Training presented by MKS&H.

Tax season is full of difficult conversations. In my profession and as a leader, I’m usually tasked with driving them. The truth is that difficult conversations make our business progress, whether they’re about finances, operations, employee talent or even sometimes what color carpet should be in the reception area. The companies that embrace them excel and often outperform the competition in the marketplace. A recent TED Talk video I stumbled upon was led by Mark Modesti. In it, he discusses why we need to embrace the trouble we ache to escape – before it finds us. (To view the video, click here.) He provides some good insights, which can be narrowed down to these three outcomes:

1. Removing barriers. As a business leader who has avidly read “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” I have come to recognize that fear of conflict, or the desire to preserve artificial harmony, stifles the occurrence of productive dialogues. High-performing teams are comfortable having critical topics on the table and having “lively” meetings. They avoid wasting time talking about the wrong issues and revisiting the same topics over and over again. In my experience, the so-called “troublemakers” of the group don’t live to rock the boat; they embrace the waves and help you steer through the storm.

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