Productive Conflict: Communicate Respectfully

Have you ever been in conflict with someone who just lets it all hang out there? They have no filter and say everything and anything they’re thinking, regardless of how it comes off? My guess is your answer is yes. Communication with tact and respect is the key to building relationships. This is true in … Read more

Productive Conflict: Pause & Reflect

Because conflict involves strong emotions, it has the power to overwhelm people. That looks different for everyone. For example, overwhelmed people with the C style and S styles may shut down, whereas those with the i style and D styles may keeping pushing their point. Regardless, conflict affects everyone. We all need to pause and reflect, … Read more

Productive Conflict: Acknowledge the Feelings of Others

Sometimes, by simply acknowledging the feelings of others, you can deflate destructive conflict behaviors and guide the conversation back to being productive. This is an empathetic move. One where you put yourself in their shoes in order to experience their perceptions, their feelings and thoughts, and their point of view instead of your own. It puts both … Read more

Productive Conflict: Give Others Time and Space

Let’s revisit the definition of conflict. Conflict is a difference of opinions involving strong emotions. The strong emotions part is what makes conflict so draining and uncomfortable. When people become too drained, they need time and space to recharge and reflect. One positive approach to conflict that may not seem very intuitive to some is the … Read more

Productive Conflict: Own Your Contributions

Have you ever heard the saying, “Nobody’s perfect?” Have you ever used that saying? How often do you use it? It’s probably one of the most popular things we say and/or think, because it’s true. But what does it mean to not be perfect? It means that we make mistakes. We fail at the tasks … 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