There's always that *one* topic no one wants to touch.
Some linger for weeks, months, even years.
Why is this the case?
It's the age old choice we are making of 'not rocking the boat' vs. speaking the truth.
Truth be told, it doesn't have to be a binary choice. Truth can be expressed carefully and with some empathy for the other, but whatever euphemism we use can only be used to the extent a solution is still enacted with the right amount of urgency.
What good is it to be using kind words if the work still doesn't get done?
I have found myself telling someone - "I understand you did not have any wrong intention, I do want you to know if this task isn't done by Wednesday 5pm then we lose the deal. So let's do all we can to save this deal."
Let's break that down - I have an exact deadline mentioned, I don't question the character or intentions of the person, so it's not a blame game, it's a 'do-you-want-to-win-or-lose' game. Once the choices are clear we can move forward and get the best outcome.
People deserve all our patience but they desperately require all our honesty too.
So yes, you might be wary of unpleasant outcomes, but take a deep breath and 'rip off the Band-Aid'.
However you choose to handle it, you'll be amazed how it's less painful than you thought it would be.
Once you're past it, even if it wasn't an ideal conclusion, it's done.
And now you're free of it.