Courage Needs Regular Feeding.

Today’s Thought: Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.

Part of my job means I have to challenge others and provide feedback on their work. I find it so difficult. It terrifies me. In my head I can imagine what I need to say; imagine a way I can say it, but when it comes down to it, I seem to chicken out!

How do I overcome this feeling of fear? The aversion I have towards upsetting others; towards potential confrontation? I came close to calling someone out on the way they talk about others. I explained that I was trying to avoid getting drawn into conversations about others that were negative, that I was actually trying to reflect on what might be annoying me and then do something positive to change it. This seemed to work well to stop what could have been a negative conversation, but it wasn’t directly telling them that their conversation wasn’t appropriate.

I am also reflecting on additional areas of feedback I have to give to others as part of my job. I have become increasingly aware that even when I think I have been honest with them, I am not clear enough. This makes it difficult for them to fulfil the expectations of them. I know I need to be more courageous in my feedback.

The balance I need to find, though, is being honest and direct but with kindness. To do this, I think I need to pay more attention to the clarity of feedback I need to deliver; I should plan the words I want to use and provide them with the space to reflect on what I have said and return with questions.

A way to do this might be to book specific sessions for feedback and a structure to the meeting. Perhaps this will remove the element of fear I feel, but will it increase the element of fear they feel? If I am to meet my goal of honesty delivered with kindness, I must consider this.

Today’s thought is a reminder that my courage is still a small animal; it needs nurture, feeding, stretching and exercising. Honesty is excellent food for courage, but fear can threaten to spoil the meal. I guess what I need to do is try to dull the taste of the anxiety and dread by focusing on the honesty, using it to sweeten what could be a bitter fruit.

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