The Best Way to Handle Awkward Situations

The best way to handle awkward situations is for the leader to acknowledge that it’s an awkward situation.

Awkward Situations

Everybody already knows. Everybody already feels it. When the leader acknowledges the awkwardness, it doesn’t give anyone new information. But it does give them a sense of relief. And it gives the leader credibility — he or she sees and knows what everyone else is already feeling.

An Example

The best person I’ve ever seen at leading awkward situations is Tom Shrader, one of the pastors at Redemption Church Gilbert. Tom’s wife of 30+ years, Susan, passed away in October 2011 after a long fight with cancer. About 7 months later, Tom got re-married to a lovely woman, Sandy. Definitely has the potential to be awkward, especially for those who knew Susan and mourned her loss.

Watch below as he explains it to the church at the beginning of a sermon. It’s a great example.

Published by Luke Simmons

I was born and raised in Denver, CO and lived there through high school. Then I moved to Champaign, IL where I attended the University of Illinois and played on the Fighting Illini baseball team. I was married in December, 2001 to Molly, who I met at the U of I. In June of 2002, we moved to Phoenix and have been here ever since.

3 thoughts on “The Best Way to Handle Awkward Situations

  1. Patrick Lencioni has written a book entitled “Getting Naked”. I don’t like the title, but I like the book. He spells out the advantages, actually the need, for consultants (leaders) to be transparent, admit when they don’t know the answer to something, reveal weaknesses or blind spots, in other words, be real. You are correct, everyone knows anyway. It is a great diffuser when a leader is honest, open, real …. not in an attention getting way or for sensationalism … just being real. People appreciate it; actually, they respect it.

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