Leaders Avoid Finger-Pointing During Conflict

I forgot to call to reserve the conference room. This is a problem; we have no place to meet. I dropped the ball, and this messed up other people’s days. But Angela forgot to prepare the agenda. A-ha! I’m not the one to blame anymore. “Well, I guess it doesn’t matter if we have a … Read more

Leaders Avoid Exclusion During Conflict

The youngest member of the team was trying to make a point, but the second-most-senior person talked over her. When she tried to speak again, the guy with seniority made no eye contact with her. After the meeting, she stopped by his office, stood in his door and said, “Can we talk more about this, … Read more

Leaders Avoid Exaggerating During Conflict

I have a couple pet peeves. One of them involves name tags. I hate wearing name tags, but I’m in a lot of situations where people have to wear them: training sessions, week-long camps, trade shows. And I get it – it’s important for people to have an identifiable status, to connect, to be a temporary … Read more

Leaders Avoid Drama During Conflict

Why do people get melodramatic? Is it an inability to rein in one’s emotions? Is it about getting attention by yelling or acting out? Could it be a search for validation? Drama in others is confusing – it seems immature, attention-seeking and unnecessary. Drama in ourselves? We don’t usually know it’s happening until we’re in … Read more

Leaders Avoid Dismissing Others’ Opinions During Conflict

“You don’t know what you’re talking about – you’re not in the classroom anymore.” I was delivering some professional development to teachers, helping them find ways to incorporate servant leadership concepts in their classrooms. One point I was making: Sarcasm has no place in effective teaching. This point is easy to back up, but nearly … Read more

Leaders Avoid Being Defensive During Conflict

An (abridged) email from Bart, a client: “…and so we just wondered why you would include the TPS module in your proposal?” My early-in-the-career defensive response was similar to: “Why on earth wouldn’t we include the TPS module? Without it, the rest of it won’t make sense; the TLA segment would totally lack context!” And Bart … Read more