There is a common problem that arises within businesses, relationships, families and with friends.

The problem is – people are scared to say what is on their mind.

They have a problem with someone and instead of speaking directly to them about it, they “stew” on it, tell others and generally avoid this person altogether. The problem is, the problem becomes worse.

As an example, Kim and Mary (not their real names) work in the same business. It was common for Kim to ask Mary to do a particular task and when Mary failed to, Kim did the task herself without saying anything to Mary. Can you relate to this in your life? Instead of asking someone to do a task, you do it because it’s easier and there is no conflict J.

Over time, Kim became angry with Mary. Mary picked up Kim wasn’t happy so she began avoiding her. This made Kim even more angry so Mary avoided her more … and so it continued.

Instead of confronting an issue, they avoid it. So why do they avoid it rather than speaking to the offending person?

Fear.

They fear what the other person will think, say or do so they say nothing. They fear what sort of reaction they will receive. A common statement is “I don’t want to create conflict”. While in this state of “stewing” on the problem, they begin to distance themselves from the other person. The other person soon perceives there is a problem so begins to worry what they have done or what the problem is. They begin to distance themselves … and so the problem continues – as with Kim and Mary.

If you have a gripe with someone, can you speak with them about it or do you keep it to yourself and “stew” on it?

In the example with Kim and Mary, when we all sat down and Kim outlined her problem, Mary had no idea she was creating so big a problem for Kim. Once Mary was aware, she said to Kim “If I’m not doing something I should be, please let me know”.

If you have a gripe with someone, let them know (in a nice wayJ) what it is so they have the opportunity to fix it.

Through not taking the steps to fix it, you have the problem.

Are you open to receiving feedback or do you react? While feedback is better than criticism, if you are criticised, take on board what you need to do and move forward.

Make good things happen …