Courageous Listening: Are You Open to Criticism?

I often hear people talk about the need for courageous conversations – those discussions that put a pit in your stomach. The ones that you lose sleep over. The ones you rehearse over and over in order to get each word right. And the ones that you probably avoid as much as possible. In some vernacular we call them “Courageous Conversations.” In Eklund Consulting-ese, we call it “Punching the Shark.” 

But I’ve been rethinking this notion a bit. Or a lot.

The Cooling Frog Syndrome: Missing When Things Are Getting Better

You’ve probably heard of the boiling frog syndrome: the reality that a frog placed into a vat of water and then placed over heat will not adjust to the rising temperatures quickly enough and will literally boil to death. While a bit grotesque, it is an apt metaphor for our own propensity for getting ourselves into stressful situations and failing to recognize the conditions and their affects quickly enough to adjust.

This metaphor holds true both for individuals as well as organizations.