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 firstname.lastname@example.org