I’ve been coaching leaders now for over a decade and the number one surprise in that time period is the lack of courage I have seen from leaders to address real issues with the people they are leading. “Turd on the Table” may be a gross analogy, but I haven’t been able to come up with anything that more accurately describes the truth of the situation.

You see, I believe it is very much like we are all carrying around these hot, steaming turds in our pockets all throughout the day and yet are unwilling to pull the turds out and put them on the table with those that we need to. These turds, of course, refer to feedback that we have for others that would be uncomfortable to address such as an issue, a frustration, or even just an observation. And yet the best thing we can do for the other person is pull the turd out of our pocket and put it on the table. Many times, we must play in the mess together to clean it up for good. Yes it will be messy and yes it will stink and no it will not be fun, but these turds won’t go away; they won’t get better unless we have the courage to put them on the table and deal with them together.

So do you have any turds in your pocket? Your organization and your people won’t get better until you get the courage to put the turd on the table!