Have you heard someone say that, at work or in your personal life? It's a phrase that usually prefaces a criticism of some sort, but it's meant to soften the sound of the criticism. It's an effort to be honest, but not devastatingly so. It's an attempt to communicate some kind of discord, but not start an argument. It's walking on eggshells.
When it comes to working with people who are different than we are, we don't just walk on eggshells—we tiptoe on eggshells. We tiptoe around our differences and around our frustrations. We stuff our feelings down inside and try to ignore the confusion or resentment we may feel.
We don't talk about any of it—because we're afraid to. With good reason! There are a million ways that speaking up can go wrong for us: