How Do You Eat an Elephant?

how do you eat an elephant
… one conversation at a time.
Yesterday, I facilitated a corporate training in Silicon Beach (the Silicon Valley of Los Angeles) on “Addressing the Elephant in the Room.”
What’s an elephant in the room?
A problem/controversial issue that is obviously present yet avoided as a subject for discussion as the discussion would be uncomfortable, painful or awkward.
Examples would be:

  • Taboo subjects; like suicide, racism or drug/alcohol addiction
  • Grief; such as a woman returning to work after losing her baby
  • Sexual harassment (and other forms)

Drawing from my book, I Get To: How Using The Right Words Can Radically Transform your Life, Relationships & Business, I shared a 3 step process for dealing with an elephant in the room.
Acknowledge. You can’t address a problem until you acknowledge there is one. Identify the “elephant.” Use sentence starters like “My experience is…” “I have thoughts of…” to acknowledge the problem.
Address. Talk openly about your view of the “elephant” and invite others to share their perspectives. Use sentence starters like “My truth in this moment…” “I had a different perspective…” to address the problem.
Accept. Good communication skills, like listening with empathy, can create an atmosphere of acceptance. Not everyone needs to agree; all voices get to be heard. Use sentence starters like “What I heard you say is…” and “I’m curious…” to accept the collective.
What “elephant in the room” conversation do you “get to have”?

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