Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. - John Wayne
Think about problems in a workplace. If we're honest, don't many of our struggles with teams and other coworkers stem from a lack of courage? We're afraid to give accurate feedback or make a frank complaint. Instead we might gossip to others or avoid a necessary conversation. Performance reviews aren't the only time to have a courageous conversation. Every time we opt out of sharing a vital truth, we lose the benefits of courage in the workplace. We lose trust, authenticity, and the aliveness that comes from living honestly.
How do we develop such courage?
Leslie E. Sekerka (interviewed by Kristin Bjorn) gives some helpful tips in Character First Magazine. She suggests practicing several key skills to help develop moral courage. They are also key EI skills.
Courageous people employ:
- Emotional signaling: People with professional moral courage do not ignore, repress, or sublimate negative feelings. They use this affective information as a signal to proceed with caution and care.
- Reflective pause: During this break individuals examine possible avenues for right action, often weighing the pros and cons of the circumstances, while also thinking about potential implications.
- Self-regulation: Managing one's feelings and desires is vital, demonstrating an ability to apply restraint coupled with an ability to move forward.
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