top of page

Tips for Dealing with the Elephant in the Room

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

Elephants can be stifling, particularly if you ignore them.

We have all had elephants we have ignored, you probably have them at your work today.

You know what I mean – those glaring issues that we choose to ignore because it is uncomfortable and could rock the boat.

For example someone may have acted inappropriately consistently and we just put up with it, or they have inadvertently made a key mistake, or the project approach is just wrong.

What if I told you it's not the problems themselves that are THE problem, but it's what you do about them that matters.

Do you grit your teeth and bare it?

Do you complain in private to some of your peers?

So here are some tips to dealing with the elephant in the room, and it revolves around TRUST, RESPECT and EMPOWERMENT.

Firstly, a strong foundation of trust within the team will make these conversations much easier as conflict will be regarded as healthy and not taken personally. Building that personal connection between team members is a great way to get that foundation of trust.

Secondly, be calm and respectful and not overreact, show anger or outrage. Show diplomacy to ease the tension.

Thirdly, be prepared with a clear recommended action plan to resolve the issue, but first give the team an opportunity to discuss the best way forward.

You have to face that big old problem that's taking up unnecessary space. If you don't nip it in the bud, it could snowball into a far larger issue.

Follow me on LinkedIn:


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page