Expressing the unsaid.
Have you ever felt those moments when everything seems to be ok and deep inside you, you feel that something ‘does not feel right’ or ‘is wrong’ ?
You know, in your heart, that this emotion or discomfort is real and need to be dealt with somehow.
Are you the only one feeling unease ? Shall you carry on with business and life ignoring these feelings ?
Or are you trying to avoid a so-called ‘difficult’ conversation, or escaping an imperceptible ‘tension’?
Personally, I have often been motivated by the desire of not breaking the harmony or the established routine by putting the subject on the table. It has been somehow preferring the apparent harmony to the authenticity and goodwill of the group.
And that little word that has irritated you keeps coming back to you during a conversation. That decision that you have accepted and that does not really suit you, or that impression that the conversation ended on an ‘unspoken’ note are the first symptoms of a possible discomfort.
It’s a nice starting point that leads to a vicious cycle. You end up building a whole story for yourself, in which, of course, you are the victim and the other person is the persecutor. And as soon as you enter this system, all your senses will be on high alert to find the facts that confirm your unease, like an email to which you have no reply, or the perception that this person avoids coming to your office, or that coffee break that is no longer shared, etc. Everything confirms your theory, which is that the other person is necessarily angry with you!
You may even have a trend to deny facts when the other person asks you if everything is all right, “saying yes” of course, not daring to take the time for real conversation and real feedback.
By fear of losing the relationship, fear of not being “loved” or appreciated, fear of disappointing, fear of not being good enough.
You will need bravery, determination and the will to build relationships with respect for yourself and the other person in order to dare saying the unsaid, your emotions, your feelings and to take the time, in kindness, calm and serenity, to share this with the person or persons concerned.
And you will be surprised to realize that
– You are not the only one who feels it,
– It relieves you and the others to know that we are not alone,
– It allows open conversations, authenticity and trust,
– And that the greatest gift you will leave with is the other person’s perspective, their intentions and your newfound sense of alignment and collaboration.
Turning tension or discomfort into an opportunity to make both the team and each of us richer is one of the many challenges of leadership.
And it starts with you being a role model.
It starts with true conversations with each team member. It requires daring and reinforcing conversations. It requires setting the framework of what is valued and what is needed to make the collaboration even more effective.
Create a true dynamic team. Also listen to each other’s needs. Because if you have to give feedback, you also have to ask for it and take stock of is being fed back to you.
This continues with the creation of a climate of trust between employees, and giving support in dealing with difficult feelings, tensions and conflicts within the team. It will be vital to ensure that feedback is not just something that is experienced in the hierarchical relationship, but that it also becomes a practice between peers.
Finally, beyond your teams, it is also up to you to be a role model and to dare share the points of tension, the difficult moments of exchange, because it is from these moments that the best initiatives often arise.
Du Chaos nait une étoile. Charlie Chaplin.