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Brave: 50 Everyday Acts of Courage to Thrive in Work, Love and Life by Margie Warrell

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—Chapter 12—

Your conversations are powerful. They hold the power to grow influence and trust, or to weaken it. They can open doors of opportunity and possibility or quickly close them. Conversations can trigger family feuds that last for decades. They can also heal old wounds and pave new pathways to peace: in our homes, communities and throughout the world. Indeed, the words you speak can make a profound and lasting impact on those around you — for better or worse.

A few years back I had the opportunity of working with a colonel in the United States military. He'd done multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading numerous missions that had required putting his life on the line. It's fair to say he fit the bill when it came to being courageous. After completing his tours of duty he was assigned to a senior administrative post at the Pentagon. It was there that he found himself needing to build a whole new type of courage: ‘conversational courage'. Though he'd excelled at executing the orders of his superiors, he struggled when speaking up to challenge them and when giving candid feedback — two skills essential to excelling in his new role.

BEING BRAVE IN YOUR CONVERSATIONS CAN BE JUST AS scary AS BEING BRAVE ON THE BATTLEFIELD.

His situation highlights the reality of courage: that being brave extends far beyond heroic actions on the battlefield. In fact, most ...

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