Tag: Keep Going

Overcome Obstacles: Deal with the Elephant in the Room

An steampunk elephant in an office

We’ve all experienced some kind of “elephant in the room.” You know, it’s that big issue that nobody eagerly wants to address. Your elephant issue may appear to take up mountains of time and energy. I am well versed in only having so much time and being down to ‘battery saving’ levels of energy myself. This proverbial elephant can become like a computer program running in the background slowing down your operating system’s ability to find your peace of mind! It is no surprise that maybe your elephant issue can be tough to talk about. One type of elephant may be a project that needs to be done, but because of all the urgent tasks that keep popping up you don’t ever create the steps or resources to get that important thing done. Then you may have an emotional elephant around a sensitive topic that can be hard to bring up. Ignoring your elephant can lead to unease and tension – not to mention all the energy spent having to perpetually walk around the darn animal. I know we would all rather avoid facing that difficult issue, our elephant.

An steampunk elephant in an office

So, why not try to tackle that elephant project that is becoming too big to ignore anymore? Try acknowledging there actually is an elephant size issue. This is the start for working through to common ground for a sensitive issue or a huge project. The problem, your elephant, will never be resolved if you don’t take an adult time out and evaluate possible steps to resolve it. We’re back to the old saying, how do you eat an elephant? Remember the answer is one bite at a time. I don’t know about you, but I’m not into eating elephants. I’ve come up with all kinds of excuses for my elephants whether they were conversations or projects. I’m starting to realize life is WAY too short to keep spending all this time walking around or even carrying my elephants. It is time to put my elephants down and stop wasting time walking around them when there could be a clear path if the darn elephant gets out of my way! I’m working through my elephant size issues.

We can find elephant size solutions for projects that actually work. The process is simple. It’s just not easy when you have something as big as an elephant to tame. The real secret is to continue to improve on what you’re doing. The idea of always improving on what you’re doing will whip that elephant right down to a size you can manage. As an elephant tamer, it just takes:

  • Think time to define exactly what the problem is.
  • Planning to find the resources, people and the how to resolve the elephant issue.
  • Breaking down the elephant size issue into bite size tasks.
  • Execution of your bite-size tasks.

Before you know it, this elephant-sized project has moved on!

I don’t want you to think I forgot your emotional sized elephant. Is your emotional elephant a sensitive topic that people avoid discussing either out of anger, fear or discomfort? Resolving this elephant-size issue may be more tricky to resolve, because you’re dealing with how people feel. Dealing with people’s feelings isn’t always predictable. However, ignoring the elephant in the room can cause tension and unease, and hinder progress. It’s time to confront the elephant head-on, despite its size and presence:

  • Being able to even acknowledge there is a problem for not only yourself but others will keep you from tripping over this elephant.
  • Discuss this emotional elephant openly and calmly. If you can’t speak calmly, your message may not be heard.
  • We can work together to find a solution. It takes speaking and listening to have a conversation. Make sure you calmly repeat what you thought you heard. Use these active listening skills and clarify points of view as you go.

The whole goal is to reach a perspective you can both live with that makes this emotional elephant one you can live with.

Let’s not let any elephant be it a project or a feeling continue to run around in the background and take up our precious time and energy. Life is so short! It truly is better to address any elephant sized issues and move forward toward a resolution or accomplishment. Happy elephant taming!