Improve Communication by Overcoming Fear

Our fears are born of our perception of reality. Whether our fears are based in reality or not is irrelevant because they are real to us. After all, our timidity or our fears give rise to the feelings we experience that serve to reinforce the fears we possess.

In the realm of holding difficult conversations, we allow our assessment of what the consequences might be to dictate whether we will speak up or not. In trying to decide whether we will speak up, we project onto others what they will think, feel and do in the future with no evidence — other than the evidence that we make up in the moment agen judi slot.

Nevertheless, our thoughts deliver real feelings that drive us to act in certain ways. Once we act, we ground our thinking into a material reality that reinforces what we originally thought. For example, years ago I knew of a junior executive who discovered information that would have been quite damaging to his company. Not wanting to be the bearer of bad news, he chose to say nothing. A number of months later when the “bad news” was discovered, he was terminated for not speaking up. Ironically, his thinking ended up creating the very thing that he originally dreaded — being fired.

What makes our thinking so pervasive is that we support our projection of a future state by creating a story that serves as the justification for our inaction. For example, in the story above, the junior executive might have said to himself, “I can’t say that to my boss! He’ll fire me.” Notice that this statement is a projection of a future negative consequence. Usually such projections are negative. The possibility of speaking up in this case was perceived as a walk off the plank into the shark tank.

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If the potential payoff far exceeds the benefits of keeping silent and there is no evidence to support your fears, then you should venture talking about that which will improve the situation. We should avoid losing an opportunity to improve a professional or personal situation simply because we think things won’t work out. We need to admit when we don’t know and remember that nothing ventured is nothing gained.

Overcoming our fear of speaking up in what we perceive to be a potentially difficult situation is not easy. Much of the challenge arises from the feelings we generate that supports our original assumptions. Being able to recognize your thinking and the incomplete assumptions that you hold should help you make a conscious and informed choice about whether you should share your thoughts or not.

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