Leaders Avoid Belittling During Conflict

Belittling can be direct, like calling someone an idiot, or it can be slightly more subtle. Either way, when our back is against the wall in a conflict situation, and things turn unhealthy, making others look small is a tactic that can rear its ugly head.

Leaders Address Problems

A way-too-common leadership behavior is the opposite – maintain harmony. “I don’t want to sweat the small stuff.” “I hate confrontation.” “They’ll figure it out eventually.” “Maybe a gentle all-staff email will help.” Great leaders develop fantastic relationships and address problems as they occur. A true story, from a tall building in downtown Des Moines: … Read more

Leaders Stay Receptive During Dialogue

People who are receptive invite and appreciate different points of view. Leaders who are questioning, skeptical, and challenging can be very helpful when in an early phase such as “exploring implications”. When working toward alignment, however, it can stand in the way. When I was a teacher, I had a principal in my early years who … Read more

Leaders Seek Counsel

People who seek counsel tend to consult with trusted advisors to help evaluate risks and possible outcomes. We’ll start with a real-life negative example: A new superintendent in a school district put forth a new program idea: SCUBA diving instruction. He had done it at his old school, to great success (according to him), so he … Read more