Productive Conflict: Bring in a Neutral Perspective

We don’t know what we don’t know. That sounds obvious, right? But when tensions are high and conflict ensues, our view gets more narrow, and we don’t realize that we don’t know what we don’t know. People who seek counsel tend to consult with trusted advisors to help evaluate risks and possible outcomes. We’ll start with a real-life … Read more

Productive Conflict: Listen to Differing Perspectives

People who exchange perspectives tend to encourage dialogue around new ideas and information. In a dysfunctional situation, a leader may do the opposite; present information without room for discussion. I was part of a team once that had to select chaperones for an international youth trip. The chairman explained exactly how the selection had been made four years earlier. … Read more

Productive Conflict: Apologize

Nothing shows humility, grace, and vulnerability like a sincere apology. Note: I’m not talking about a non-apology or a rushed “I’m sorry.” I’m taking about real, sincere apologies that build trust, extinguish guilt, and provide healing. Examples of non-apologies: I’m sorry, but… I’m sorry you took it that way. Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. My … Read more

Productive Conflict: Finding the Root of the Problem

This week, we’re starting a new series on productive conflict behaviors. In a previous series, we looked at unproductive behaviors. You can find the first post in that series here. Going back to DiSC, some of these behaviors will come more naturally to you than others, depending on your style. For example, if you have … Read more

Leaders Set Personal Development Goals

Personal development goals at work are essential for leaders in order to grow and develop in your career. This may include learning new skills, familiarizing yourself with company practices, policies, and technology, or getting feedback from others. Whatever personal development goals you choose, they must— 1. Be achievable 2. Be measurable Here are two formats … Read more

Leaders Experiment

One of my favorite leadership experiments happened when I was a band teacher. If you know my origin story, you know there was a time when I was a very negative leader. Part of the turn-around in the late 1990’s involved the revelation of the power of positive feedback. I decided to do a radical … Read more