technologyA recent Forbes article titled, “Is technology turning us into cowards? When to talk instead of type,” talks about how more and more people are opting to send an email or text message instead of having those difficult conversations face-to-face. While I agree with the idea expressed in the post that too much critical communication is now being sent by email, I wouldn’t necessarily call this cowardice; people have been dodging tough conversations since the dawn of time. Technology has just made it easier for us to avoid firing or breaking up with someone to their face. Using technology for a difficult conversation is more about poor communication skills. Before text messaging, email and social media made it simple to avoid tough conversations, people found other ways to dodge them. Generally, the reasons why people avoid uncomfortable conversations and decisions are due to fear and discomfort. But there are other far more interesting and valuable reasons to explore.   What I think is interesting is the fact that we haven’t see these avoidance attitudes and behaviors in star performers. I have narrowed it down to three key factors that make them different, all of which can be taught. First, stars are so driven by their purpose that they can’t avoid doing the hard things necessary to achieve their purpose. Second, stars are driven to achieve mastery in many different forms of communication, enabling them to broach difficult conversations with others. Third, stars are humble about what is required to achieve their purpose. They are self-aware and self-confident, which allows them to recognize and manage their discomfort; they can have that hard conversation without viewing it as painful. If you define your compelling purpose, strive to develop excellent communication skills and do the personal work to understand and manage uncomfortable situations, the issue of avoidance will disappear. Simply put, avoiding the hard conversations is not a viable remedy.]]>

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