I knew it as it was happening, too. A little voice in my head was yelling, “Don’t be a wimp! You’re missing an opportunity!” But I didn’t listen.
I had been frustrated with a quality educator whose mindset was blocking her from buying into a new initiative that was good for our learners. I knew that the right conversations and experiences could ease her out of this mindset and help her move forward.
I had been thinking about it as I walked to the staff lounge to get my lunch. I was looking forward to grabbing my lunch and heading back to my desk to watch a few videos from my YouTube “Watch Later” list. And then . . . there she was. In the lounge. Eating alone. It was like fate. A perfect opportunity to have a friendly trust-building conversation and ease into working on that mindset.
But that didn’t sound enjoyable. So, I walked away. I knew it was the wrong thing to do, but sitting there sounded uncomfortable. Awkward. I was a coward.
If your goal is to be a leader or a coach, a catalyst or a bus mover, you’ve got to have the uncomfortable, unenjoyable conversations. You’ve got to take the first awkward steps at building rapport and trust. Those awkward steps are uncomfortable.
The steps you take when walking away? Comfortable. Not awkward at all. But they’re missed opportunities.
I missed an opportunity that day. It won’t happen again.