An Avocado Moment

You might feel a little twinge when you see your two friends at work heading off to happy hour without you. You could feel a sting when someone criticizes your efforts and fails to acknowledge that you worked all weekend. But should you say anything?

Everyone has these little moments that don’t merit a full-blown courageous conversation but do grab our attention as we replay the scenario in our heads and feel wronged.

Now there’s an answer. Whenever someone steps on your toes, you can say “avocado.” Why avocado?  Well, why not! The word rolls off the tongue easily and, as a generic noun without connotations, comes across as non-threatening on the receiving end.

So, not only is avocado making a splash on toast, it has the potential to be the belle of the boardroom. I’ve personally witnessed the power of avocado as it transforms what could be awkward moments into light-hearted opportunities to clear the air. In other words, avocado is becoming the new “ouch.”

Here’s how it works. Ask a group of coworkers or friends if they are willing to experiment with the avocado. If they agree, encourage people to say avocado whenever they feel stung or disrespected or offended by someone else. Avocado works with teams, with friends and even with kids as young as 5 years old.

So the next time your coworker doesn’t invite you to an upcoming meeting and you think you need to be there, try it out. Your avocado likely will be met with curiosity and will provide you the opportunity to share how you feel. And your coworker will have the opportunity to invite you to the meeting or explain why that won’t work. Either way, the air is clear.

As silly as this seems, avocado has worked so well in some settings that they’ve embellished it—now, a big avocado is “guacamole.”  Don’t be surprised if you discover there are more unintentional avocados situations than you ever would have suspected.  With a little effort, you will find this exercise enhances communication, reduces bad feelings and wasted time discussing them, and ultimately makes life a lot more fun.

***Standard disclaimer: Written on the fly. Please excuse spelling and grammatical errors as well as partial thoughts, generalizations and unintended whiplash.


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