Sometimes the Answer is Giving Up

Leadership Tip: Maybe you don't need to learn HOW to have the DIFFICULT DISCUSSION Maybe you need to learn to STOP TRYING With cartoon images of 5 people at the bottom in various states of surprise.

Well-meaning, helpful people often ask:

“How do I get through to them?”

They’ve tried explaining it this way.
They’ve tried explaining it that way.
They’ve listened.
They’ve asked questions.
They’ve thought through their response for the 15th time.
They’ve tried again.  And again.  And again. 

And yet, the person they’re talking with still isn’t getting it.

They’re blaming, attacking, and deflecting. 

Each creative way of “trying to get through to them” is met with an even more creative way of blocking and deflecting the message. 

In these cases, we often don’t need to learn how to have the difficult discussion.

We need to learn to stop trying.

For difficult discussions and problem-solving to be effective, they need partnerships.  And sometimes people can’t be or don’t want to be effective partners. 

We can and should offer information in a clear, kind way.  But we can not force anyone to listen.   

Sometimes, the answer is to stop sacrificing your time, energy, and well-being trying to help them see something they don’t want to or cannot see.