It was my freshman year at the University of Illinois and I had invited a guy from 101 English for dinner at my place.  The chicken and homemade cheesecake (my first) were a triumph.  We hadn’t even kissed but both suspected where it was headed when the doorbell rang.  It was my high school boyfriend of two years.  He had driven an hour and a half to ”surprise me.”  For those of you old enough to remember life B.T. (Before Texting) this sort of thing happened.

The high school flame and I had never broken up and it was inevitable.  But I had been postponing that awkward moment.  Now, with the two of them face to face, I did what any self-respecting college girl would do - fled to the bathroom to think.  When I returned he was gone.  Never saw him again.  I felt really bad.  He was a great guy and didn’t deserve to be treated that way. 

In business we do this all the time. As a coach I hear all the ”reasons” why.  Timing is wrong, there’s a big business project, maybe things will improve, reviews are next quarter, traveling non-stop this month,  etc.  Meanwhile things deteriorate. Postponing the crucial conversation is never a winning strategy.

The point is if you need to have one get on with it.  If you need help, ask.  (Had I asked my roommate, she  would have said, “call him and tell him,” but she was pre-med and never around.  Plus I thought I could manage the situation myself.)  The point is if you need a kick in the pants, ask your coach, mentor or someone you trust and thank them even if it hurts.     

What’s your experience? Have you ever postponed a crucial conversation?  What did you learn?  Leave your response in “Leave a Reply” or email me at

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