Productive Conflict: Find a Compromise

Compromise is one of those things that’s easier said than done. It’s also much easier to see a compromise between people in conflict when you’re not part of the conflict. When you are, however, compromise is that elusive old friend who’s name you can never quite remember. But compromise is a powerful tool. It builds … 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

Leaders Understand the Role of Symbolism

We all work and breathe in four organizational frames. These frames are Political, Structural, Human Resources, and Symbolic. Political—power, conflict, coalitions Structural—organizational charts, policies, procedures Human Resources—meeting individual needs, teamwork, leadership, people problems Symbolic—culture, ritual, stories, traditions In times of change, the first two—political and structural—are usually where the change originates from. The bottom two—human … Read more

Leaders are Aware of Heightened Stress During Times of Change

Based on the book by Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, there are five dysfunctions in a team that create tension, conflict, and stress. These dysfunctions are heightened in times of change. Each dysfunction builds on the one below, and they are all built upon the foundation of trust. Dysfunction 1 – Absence … Read more

Leaders Embrace Relationship Power

How are your communication habits? Would others agree with your assessment? Do they change during times of stress? Change and stress complicate situations and relationships. It’s when we need more communication with each other, but what generally happens is just the opposite. Communication, transparency, empathy, and authenticity build relationships, and good relationships are good for … Read more

Leaders Avoid Withholding During Times of Change

We have a habit of withholding in times of stress and change. But what we need to do is get back to the basics of communication and embrace the power of SMaC. Too often we find ourselves in only one circle or one overlap, when we need to be aiming at all three—Be Specific, Be Methodical, and … Read more