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: 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

Leaders Follow the Best Advice Lou Holtz Ever Heard

Recently, I had the chance to hear legendary football coach Lou Holtz deliver a keynote address. He’s best known for turning around the Notre Dame football program, and one of my favorite factoids about that process is that he removed player names from the backs of jerseys, to emphasize “team” rather than “individual hero.” As … Read more

Leaders Address 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 Balance Perspective on Others

If there’s one skill that leaders must master and habitually improve, it’s communication. I say “habitually improve”, because it’s impossible to communicate flawlessly ALL the time. But – we can sure try!   Take a look at this story about a time when intent and impact did not match up: Stanley, upset about recent changes, … Read more

Q: When can you criticize freely?

A: When the relationship is strong enough, AND, according to coach John Robinson: “Never criticize until the person is convinced of your unconditional confidence in their abilities.” When I think of the people in my life that I willingly take criticism and feedback from, without taking it personally (though my wife and friends may point … Read more