You Won’t Be Good At What You Don’t Do

You would probably not expect to place well in a swimming event if you only got into the pool once in six months. And if you need to generate custom reports from that new software, you’ll probably seek training and experience to increase your comfort with the programming parameters.

When you engage in anything on a frequent basis, you become better at it and it becomes easier. This statement applies whether you seek to develop a physical skill (like running or ice skating), an intellectual skill (like learning a language or mastering new software), or an emotional skill (like providing feedback or sharing feelings in a situation).

So why, if you want to become better at dealing with conflicts and other uncomfortable people situations, do you actively avoid the practice?

Difficult conversations are usually only difficult because you don’t have them as often, so your skill set is not well developed. Yet if you engage with more frequency in conversations about small concerns (like an unclear email, a small mistake made, or a single chore not performed), you will find that both your comfort level and skill level increase, and eventually the “difficult conversations” will become easy.

So stop telling me you’re uncomfortable. Do it. Try it. Practice it. Work through your mistakes and “sore muscles.” Then come back and tell me about your performance.

You won’t be good at what you don’t do.



Jim Smith, PCC, is The Executive Happiness Coach®. He is an international speaker, executive and life coach, and author. He provides his clients with inspiration and practical tools to live a happier life and build more positive work cultures. He is the author of Happiness At The Speed of Life: 13 Powerful Strategies for Finding Happiness at Home and On The Job, and has touched the lives of over 10,000 people worldwide through his work on Positive Emotion and Leadership. You can connect with Jim at