Let’s Talk: Why It’s Time to Stop Avoiding Taboo Topics at Work

Christina Wing
March 18, 2024

Work is a place where many controversial topics are off-limits – even at a family business. But what happens when that hurts the wider organization? Wingspan Founder Christina Wing, who is writing a new book, Unspeakable, on difficult but necessary conversations in business, says the silence should end in this Harvard Business School Working Knowledge article.

“What do you speak about with colleagues?” asks Christina. “Weather, food, sports, and sometimes vacations. What we don’t talk about is succession, death, age, sex, health, money—so many things that affect our ability to do our jobs. Yet we want our leaders to be authentic, empathetic people we want to follow. If we don’t talk about anything that’s real, how can they do their jobs, and why would we follow them?”

Christina goes on to offer five rules for successful conversation and other reflections on how to initiate dialogue around potentially awkward and controversial subjects like money, health, politics, and death. Read more in Working Knowledge.

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About Christina Wing

Christina founded Wingspan Legacy Partners to help Founders and Families navigate the intersections between Family dynamics, business operations, wealth, legacy and philanthropic impact.