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: 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

Leaders Know People Need to Feel Heard

Ricardo was the president of the Band Parents for a time while I was a band director. He ran pretty good meetings. His corporate background and command of deliverables worked very well, especially when another officer, Don, ran off at the mouth. Most of Don’s ramblings were trivial, and sometimes they were negative. But Ricardo … Read more

Leaders Influence Outcomes

I heard Tim Kight speak at the Iowa SHRM conference, and he had an elegant way of boiling down the role our choices make in determining outcomes. Event + response = outcome Essentially, if we don’t have influence over events, yet we want to control outcomes, then we need to focus on our responses to … Read more