Last week I talked about the messages you are missing or waiting until they shout at you.
This week I want to talk about why you do that. When you find yourself ignoring messages, it’s usually because they are difficult to hear. Some of the most difficult messages to hear surround negative performance feedback at work.
I remember an HR leader from my past who was always getting sharp, pointed questions during our leadership meetings. The rest of us felt the discomfort, but he didn’t seem to. Once he even dozed off in a meeting! I remember thinking to myself, ‘man, there’s a freight train coming at this guy, and he seems totally oblivious.’. It was painful to watch.
Of course, the inevitable happened and he was let go.
I’ve often thought about why we ignore obvious messages, ones that could have dire consequences. The person who notices the lump or the mole but puts off going to the doctor, the partner who notices suspicious behaviour in their mate but says nothing, the sharp decline in your teen’s grades that you let slide.
Why do we stick our heads in the sand when something is up?
Fear, plain and simple. But here’s the thing: failing to act won’t change the thing. All that’s changed is that you’ve noticed what is there. That gives you the chance to face it and act; and possibly avoid something really bad happening.
Try this ONE thing
What’s ONE message you are ignoring? Name it. Invite it in and offer it a seat. Have a conversation with it. And then decide to act.
Check out my story on my website, Karen Laidlaw the ONE Thing. And you’ll find lots of good freebies there too.