Remember the Cowardly Lion in the movie, The Wizard of Oz? Here’s how he introduced himself to Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow: What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?
Have you ever felt like the cowardly lion, hoping for the courage to speak up in a meeting? Tell your boss your new idea to cut costs? Have a difficult conversation with a friend?
According to dictionary.com, courage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger and pain without fear. We often equate courage with warriors, superheroes and cancer survivors.
We polled the Humanergy Team and have six techniques to help you muster your courage.
Blow up your fears. Ask yourself: “What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is that to happen?”
Consider the other person’s greater good. Take a moment to walk in her shoes. Am I the right person to deliver this information or have this conversation? What will be her discomfort with this situation? Long term, is this the right thing to do? At the other end of this challenge, will there be more trust and a better relationship?
Have a pep talk. Pick someone you absolutely trust—a friend, spouse or co-worker. Ask him for counsel and to cheer you on before and after the conversation. Have him remind you of your core values and the absolutes you won’t compromise.
Think, plan and prepare. Before the conversation, do your homework. Write a script so you’ll say the right thing the right way. Rehearse aloud. Anticipate and prepare for the other person’s reactions and questions.
Know that perfection is a myth. The conversation doesn’t have to be perfect. And it won’t be. Have positive intent and do your best.
Consider the consequences of not having the conversation. Ask yourself: What is the compelling “yes?” If it is important to have the conversation, then do it.
Feeling more courageous already? Consider what Eleanor Roosevelt said: Do one thing every day that scares you.
Now, if we only had a pair of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers!
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