Big Decisions Require Big Conversations

 

Who are you letting make the decisions about what happens to you? About what happens to your family? About what happens to your business?

I’m not talking about the 226.7 decisions Cornell University says that adults make daily just about food (Wansink & Sobal, 2007). By the way, I wonder how they count it when you make the same decision over and over, like when I’m standing in front of the refrigerator going back and forth between a salad and the container of leftover mac and cheese. And whom am I kidding? We all know I’m just going to reheat the mac and cheese!

But I mean the decisions that can affect your life. The decisions that require you to have seemingly impossible conversations before you can make them.

When you avoid difficult conversations you end up giving away your decision making to others. You give away the decisions about you, your family and your business to people who are not nearly as vested in the effect of these decisions as you are.

Every day doctors, lawyers, employees and even the government make decisions for people who were not willing to have the seemingly impossible conversations needed to make their own decisions. They make these decisions based on their professional experiences and knowledge but ultimately, they make these decisions based on their beliefs and values and what they would want to have happen.

If you can’t bring yourself to have the conversation with your families about the extent of live saving efforts they want to be taken in the case of illness or accidents you leave that decision to the doctors.

When you don’t do the financial and legal planning needed to efficiently transfer money and property to your heirs, because you are hung up on the perception that that planning for a family members death means that you actually want it to happen, you leave your family subject to the governments plan and their lack of concern over minimizing your tax liability or how long the process can take.

If you are a manager or business owner, you may not even realize what decision making you’re giving away to your employees. Are you avoiding speaking to someone about their lackluster performance because you don’t want to hurt their feelings or make them upset? That’s basically handing over control of your profitability, of your level of customer service, of potentially your ability to draw new clients…….all to an employee that is already not meeting your standards.

How do you avoid giving up control over important decisions? You have the seemingly impossible conversations with the people who are part of these decisions.

Keep it respectful. Keep it caring. But understand what happens when you avoid important conversations.

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