The “elephant in the room” is an English metaphorical idiom that refers to an obvious truth that is being ignored or goes unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss. If you think about the fact that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook, however, the people in the room still pretends the elephant is not there and have chosen to avoid dealing with the looming big issue.
When you sit in a board meeting discussing the performance of the employees and business with your boss and everyone knows that there is an important topic to discuss, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn’t discussed, and everyone tries to ignore the topic. That is like trying to ignore the elephant in the room!!! But it is so obvious?!
Sometimes we try to ignore that important topic by covering it with another topic. It is like painting the elephant in the same bold pattern as the room’s wallpaper. Many of us have come across ‘The Elephant in the room’ at some stage of our lives. Or maybe you didn’t even come across it as no-one have mentioned it (you didn’t see the elephant).
Sometimes it’s okay to keep quite about the ‘elephant in the room’. In other situations, I think that it will keep haunting us until we say something. The sooner you say or deal with it the faster you can move passed it.
Editor: Roelien Zwart
Picture Source: (sustainabilityadvantage.com)