“Can we talk about this?”

That simple question is the litmus test for a productive relationship.

If one professional says it to another, the answer is an emotion-free, "sure." There's no baggage. Talking is the point. Talking is what we do. We communicate to solve problems.

On the other hand, if the question brings with it fear and agitation and, "uh oh, what's wrong," you can bet that important stuff goes undiscussed all the time.

[PS altMBA2 applications are due by tomorrow.]