Posted in Communication Skills, Faith

It’s Time to Look at the Elephant!

The Board of Directors sat quietly in the conference room, as the CEO reported on the monthly statistics and financials. Each of the six members were half listening, preoccupied with their own thoughts. For the past several months the numbers were down; finances were declining. With this downward trend, perhaps it was time to look for a new CEO, one with the skills and leadership strengths better suited for the position at this particular season.

The thoughts of considering a replacement loomed heavy in the room, as it had in the last three meetings. Even the CEO, behind her cheerful exterior, entertained the need for a change in leadership, but no one dared to vocalize it.

But we really like her.
She is so optimistic and hopeful.
She has such a passion for this non-profit work and has poured her heart and soul into it.

The group concluded their business, avoiding the awkward and painful topic.

Maybe things will look better next month.

It can happen to us in relationships and our places of business. An elephant—an uncomfortable issue that needs to be addressed—visits us. The elephant is enormous and obvious, taking up attention and resources. Yet, no one wants to acknowledge him.

Doesn’t anyone else see this elephant?
Maybe if I ignore him long enough, he will go away.
I’ll wait for someone else to bring it up first.
I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

So we continue to avoid the elephant. It takes increasing amounts of energy to ignore him. He grows and grows, and starts to smell, but we continue to pretend he does not exist.

In order to thrive in life and as a leader, we must look at the elephant and begin to dialogue.

We must…

be willing to be the one to break the silence.
have the courage to engage in difficult conversations.
ask questions to promote the sharing of ideas.
be open to others’ ideas.
speak the truth in love.

Think about the different areas of your life. Is there an elephant that needs to be looked at? What prevents you from doing so?

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone (James 1:5-6a, NLT).

This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Heavenly Father, I acknowledge the elephant in (name where it is). I need Your help to deal with this situation. Thank You for the wisdom that comes from You, for the courage to look at this situation for what it is, and for the grace to walk this out with others. In Jesus’ name.

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