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  • Writer's pictureTransitionHub

A World in Transition: Insights from Transition Hub - Crucial Conversations

One of the most challenging aspects of career disruption is feeling like a ‘nobody’ when we lose the confidence that comes with an external identity like a business card, title and company to represent.

It’s not unusual to feel stripped not only of our identity, but also our sense of worth and credibility. This negative self-perception can be crippling and lead to isolation and a downward mental spiral.

In these moments, the very thing we need is the very thing we feel unworthy of… connecting with others, building relationships and asking for help. These are crucial conversations when in transition. I recall a sportsman in one of our elite athlete transition programs who was talented, articulate and driven, but feeling a little lost when it came to identifying his next career move. I remember asking if he had reached out to the alumni network and corporate sponsors of his club to meet for coffee to explore possible career paths, industries, organisations or to seek a mentor. It was interesting how much of an ‘aha’ moment that was for him, as it hadn’t occurred to him to reach out to his wider network to ask for assistance, or perhaps it was just too big a leap for him to appear that vulnerable.

Networking conversations are critical to your job search process, so dig deep and find the courage to connect.

Crucial conversations are equally important for leaders. Too often we put off the hard conversations. This can be for a myriad of reasons from time constraints and company culture to conflict avoidance and simply fearing someone’s reaction. The problem with not having open communication and engaging issues directly is that they tend to grow into something bigger and sometimes become insurmountable. Disgruntlement, gossip, lack of engagement and even conscious or unconscious sabotage can result.

Our personal lives are no different and a failure to communicate early can have an explosive effect on our relationships. By the time an issue comes to a head, emotions are running high and our fight/flight response is triggered. Neither outcome is ideal for effective communication and resolution. Crucial conversations with our loved ones need to be calm and regular to avoid damaging trust and connection. When we overstep the mark and act in ways we regret, another crucial conversation we need to engage in is an apology.

Right now, I think the most crucial conversations we should all be having are ‘wellbeing check-ins’. From leaders to their teams, from children to their aging parents, from friend to friend and neighbour to neighbour, ensuring those we care for are feeling supported and connected through the isolation and challenges of Covid-19… now that is a crucial conversation. 

Director & author bio: A gifted writer, facilitator, coach and co-founder of Transition Hub, Karen Thomas works with our clients to develop global transformation programs, crafting meaningful messages into positive training experiences. As a co-founder and Director of Transition Hub, Karen has created our signature playbook and coach training methodology.


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