Businesspeople are often in a difficult position when negotiating, enforcing policy and making decisions that impact relationships with customers, staff, vendors and stakeholders.

Many take the easy way out by procrastinating, or they do the comfortable thing by just allowing the issue to continue instead of doing the right thing and dealing with it.

Dealing with difficult issues by hoping they will go away might feel comfortable because human beings can fool themselves for a time and pretend those issues don’t exist. But by doing the comfortable thing they open the door to long-term risks that are probably much worse and much less comfortable than the current issue.iStock/Samarskaya

Additionally, it really isn’t all that comfortable.  There is a certain amount of nagging memory of the issue that wakes you up in the middle of the night and calls attention to your denial.

Doing the right thing, and dealing with difficult issues before they become huge takes on a certain amount of personal risk – the risk of a confrontation. Often it takes personal courage to do the right thing. Debra Lindegren once defined the word “courage” as: “Being brave enough to reach outside our existing paradigms, thus overcoming our fears and providing new, bold lenses through which to see life.” 

Putting on the bold lenses of courage allows the person doing the right thing to overcome the comfortable risk of self-deception and face up to the responsibilities of the task at hand, overcoming the fears of confrontation and becoming empowered by knowing they are doing the right thing.

This, of course, opens up a conversation of defining the “right thing,” and that goes back to a business having, communicating and living by its foundational elements – the mission statement, vision statement and values statement.

If they are in place, relevant and are adhered to, it’s easy to know what the “right thing” is in almost every circumstance. 

It becomes more difficult to do the “comfortable thing,” hoping the issue goes away. It won’t go away! It will probably get much worse over time. 

So do the right thing now and get over it! You will really be more comfortable that way.

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