How Great Leaders Resolve Conflict

How Great Leaders Resolve Conflict

One thing is certain: when people are put together in working groups, there will be conflict. As a leader, it’s not a question of if you will face employee conflict, it’s a matter of when. Conflict is a natural occurrence in human interaction that leaders should not only expect, but be prepared for. As business strategist Glenn Llopis advises in the Forbes article, 4 Ways Leaders Effectively Manage Conflict, leaders who fail to address conflict within their staff experience varying levels of disruption, disunity, lowered morale and diminished productivity. Resolving conflict effectively and positively is one of the most misunderstood and often avoided aspects of leadership. With a dual approach to conflict, where measures are taken to minimize conflict triggers and mitigate conflict once it becomes apparent, everyone benefits. Preventing Causes of Conflict The best way for leaders to maintain a unified environment is by understanding what conditions cause conflict and putting in place management practices that avoid those conditions. Conflict can be briefly defined as opposition put into action. The most common way opposition surfaces is in written form. Email and memo wars are prevalent, where chains of conflict can take on a life of their own, dragging bystanders down with them. Conflict also takes on a verbal form, where arguments not only disrupt the work of those arguing, but interfere with the work of everyone within earshot. Lastly, and most harmful, are physical conflicts. Physical combatants require immediate action per law and your company disciplinary policies. A major cause of conflict is competition. Many will agree that some level of competition is healthy, but when it interferes...
The Power of Humble Leadership

The Power of Humble Leadership

Today’s leaders face innumerable challenges that previous generations never confronted: employee disengagement, cloud-based speed of commerce, political correctness, cultural diversity, social sensitivities and a hyper-focus on efficiency, among others. Pressure to succeed is higher than ever. Leaders know they must have an A-game, and they continually encounter methods that experts claim will improve proficiencies. Humility, however, is an often-overlooked character trait that flies in the face of culturally accepted leadership norms. It may, in fact, be the most powerful attribute a leader can have to engage and inspire people. Leaders dream of motivated teams, yet many try to develop them in all the wrong ways. Fundamental Paradigms For generations, workplace humility was seen as a detriment, not an advantage. For the greater part of the 20th century, leaders believed organizations were best run with power, intimidation, authority and ego. Employees were told what to do and were shown the door when they failed to comply. Decisiveness, toughness and assertiveness were deemed leadership strengths. Facts and figures ruled the day, and leaders seldom prioritized employee needs. These paradigms are still found in many corners of commerce. Old-school leaders regard softer skills as weaknesses. Unfortunately for them, the primary weakness in this mindset is results. The word “humility” is plagued with negative connotations. Humble leaders may be erroneously viewed as unsure of themselves, permissive or unable to stand firm. Nothing can be further from the truth, and outdated leadership paradigms are responsible for countless organizational woes. Studies and surveys over recent decades clearly show that organizational prosperity is highly connected to employee satisfaction and engagement. A company runs much better when...