How To Open A Can Of Worms?

can of wormsOne of the challenges facing busy business owners is the lack of time to deal with challenging conversations. Some think it is lack of planning or time management but in my experience the ‘real’ reason is fear that you cannot manage yourself or others if you open ‘this can of worms’




The inability to have open conversations with the people who matter because you either fear you or your idea/opinion will:


  • Upset them
  • Be rejected
  • Result in conflict


Can result in more time being wasted talking about the person and the problem, rather than talking with them to resolve it?

You probably tell your spouse every night about this problem or person and they do their best to help, by giving you suggestion after suggestion until they are exhausted and usually equally fed up because now this situation is consuming your life at home too.

I met someone who had been putting off a planning session with his business partner for almost 2 years.  He wanted to take his partner offsite to plan for his retirement but something stopped him. They had worked together for 20 plus years and had many 5 year planning days but this one, he kept putting off.  He told himself due to the recession he couldn’t afford to take time out. He would say that it was difficult to get them both free at the same time, then I would hear that they were both off on a golfing weekend with some of their clients.

The reality is that for many the ‘real’ reason for not doing something is camouflaged by the more commonly accepted reasons/excuses I don’t have time or I can’t afford to. Have you ever noticed how you will move heaven and earth to do the things that you really want to do and know you absolutely should do.

The reality is that for this particular client the ‘real’ reason he was not dealing with it was because he feared that the business partner would not agree with his plans. You see this 5 year plan would involve him asking the business partner to buy him out so that he could retire.

Being clear about what you would like to have happen and resourcing yourself in advance to ensure these kind of conversations go well is as simple as asking yourself 3 questions.

For this discussion to be just the way you would like to be it would be like what?

For a discussion to be like that (answer to above) you need to be like what?

For a discussion to be like (answer to above) and you to be like (answer to above) what kind of resource or support do you need from others?

You will be surprised how often the can of worms to turn out to be your favourite can of soup, something you like and can manage.

Remember if they don’t agree you can simply ask them now you know how I feel what would you like to have happen?


What needs to happen for you to have what you want and for me to have what I want?

Remember in a two way conversation you do not have to solve all the problems, if you both listen and both ask questions the solutions will emerge.

If you would like to find out more about the questions you can ask yourself to set yourself up for success, check out our FREE Workbook Success without Stress or check out our FREE Communication Conference Calls.

Thanks for Listening

How to make good decisions






Sheryl Andrews

Founder and Power Group Facilitator


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