A story in the Wellington Weekend paper told of a participant from the TV show New Zealand’s Next Top Model who spoke openly about other contestants. She became very unpopular with the other models because of the way she delivered her forthright opinions of them. (She was popular with the TV network because she provided the drama to make their programme interesting.)
She said she was only saying to people’s faces what everyone else was saying behind their backs.
Her excuse assumes there are only two choices – silence or violence. Either you don’t say any thing at all to other people about their problem behaviour (silence) or you blast them with both barrels (violence).
There are a number of other options that would come under the heading of ‘crucial conversations’, that is how to speak with people about important topics without damaging the relationship. Learning how to have a crucial conversation is a real skill.
First posted by John Faisandier on 20th February, 2011