“I guess it was bound to happen, wasn’t it?”
“Well, yes, but you could sense that coming a long way off, couldn’t you?”
“I had some indications, but I wasn’t certain…”
It drives me crazy to stand and examine a train wreck with a client, as if conducting a post-mortem. All because of missing initiative… and courage to take a step before taking one no longer matters. What’s frustrating is that they are so often avoidable. Sometimes all that’s missing is someone close who urges you to speak to the other player before things get worse.
You can feel the need for one of these critical talks, can’t you?
You’ve had an interaction with someone important that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Something essential got cross-threaded and you can feel that unworked-through element stuck in your craw.
Or, your world is serving up a dilemma. A tendency has manifested in a partner. Or maybe they’re on a new hobby horse, pursuing an objective that you’re pretty sure is wrong-headed. It’s a new flavor, a new jag; something they’ve picked up somewhere. They seem compelled to act upon it, to play it out. If you mention that thing to someone else, they say, “Whoa, that’s not gonna work…”
You can see where the situation is inevitably headed, and it’s not good. You know if you don’t head it off soon, it will come to full flower. And you’ll have a full-fledged mess on your hands. It won’t be pretty.
Those ‘spidey signals’ are potential life savers. Getting good at honoring those early indications and taking action is one skill that strong leaders have.
They don’t wait. They don’t stand by and let matters worsen until disaster ensues.