Courage

At the moment I’m facilitating about twice a week...and I’m facilitating a variety of programmes and courses but the one I struggle with most is our Courageous Conversations workshop, mainly because I feel like a complete fake.  I constantly wait for someone to challenge me as to when I last had a courageous conversation that went beyond my husband, kids or the family pets.  The problem is that I’m a wimp (Patrick Lencioni says he’s a wuss, so I feel as if I’m in good company!).  I admit I lack courage. I would do anything to avoid the hard discussions.  And I’m not alone, many people take a courageous conversations workshop, gaining all the needed skills and knowledge to carry out a difficult conversation but they still don’t have them, they still avoid them.  This leads many organisations baffled as to why, after such investment, they don’t get traction around people actually having the hard conversations, particularly around performance.  We wimps aren’t alone!

 

So how do you get courage?  Bravery, fear, and courage are all linked.  I’ve been around long enough to remember the book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers written in the mid 80s.  This book title sums up perfectly how to find courage.  I remember reading that being brave isn’t the absence of fear but rather doing stuff in spite of the fear.  You don’t feel courage and then do courageous things (worse luck!) but rather you get courage by doing scary stuff, feeling sick to your stomach but doing the hard stuff anyway.  The more you do the scary stuff the better you get at it.  You may not do it perfectly or it may go badly…and that’s ok, that is what learning is all about.  But if you want to be more courageous you do just have to get on with it....oh so much easier said than done!!