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‘Don't you get me started…’

There is a natural and regrettable inclination to avoid conflict at almost any costs. Even though, avoiding, so as not to get someone started, demonstrates your unwillingness to uncover that which must be brought to light.

You must peel back the layer of the onion to get to the real issues, and that will likely require you to boldly uncover these hidden issues head-on. When you peel back the layers of the onion, figurative tears may start to flow. In other words, you are going to expose your vulnerable side and possibly invite a compromising situation. So be it.

Until you get to a position of confidence where you are committed to rooting out the possible damaging issues, you are really not willing to become the trusted advisor you must strive to become, and you will someday need to become.

People, as a general rule, do want to get better. Otherwise, the selling of educational and self-help books would plummet. You can play an important role in helping others grow by making a commitment to guiding them down the discovery path. The discovery path is paved with questions, listening, empathy and compassion.

When you are truly devoted to helping, you must be devoted to, carefully and gingerly, at times, continue pushing on the hot buttons in order to help others understand your deep desire to understand. Let them know that you really want to know that which you need to know. You can accomplish that worthy goal by showing a sincere commitment to their position and goals.

Getting to yes may involve getting someone started. So be it.

Dennis Wade is the president and publisher of The Lawton Constitution. He can be reached at

The Lawton Constitution

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