Conscious Leadership Scenario:
PART ONE of why you will never be a great leader addressed the foundation of every great team-absence of trust. Read PART ONE first, if you have not already.
Like in many other aspects of life, teamwork comes down to mastering a set of behaviors that are at once theoretically uncomplicated but extremely difficult to put into practice day after day. Time and time again.
The “Never Slow Down Business Model” is driving your team into an absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, and avoidance of accountability.
We will focus on fear of conflict today.
Leadership Fail: Fear of Conflict [healthy conflict]
You are buried in corporate goals, division goals, personal goals, maintaining budgets, and managing your team to gain the ultimate competitive advantage.
The building, mentoring, and nurturing your team needs takes an immense amount of time. You will never, ever never, SLOW DOWN [It’s impossible to slow down], and invest the proper amount of time to build trust. Which makes healthy conflict possible – sometimes passionate and emotional debates. Healthy conflict means you will not be punished for saying something that might otherwise be interpreted as destructive or critical.
Negative Affect on Culture and Organizational Performance:
Teams that Fear Conflict…
- Team members that fear conflict have boring meetings that don’t lead to innovative thinking and new profound ideas.
- Fear of conflict creates back office politics and personal attacks thrive creating division amongst the team.
- Ignore and avoid critical topics that needs to be discussed. Without discussion there is not team buy in on execution.
- Wasting valuable time and exuding huge amounts of energy with posturing and individual risk management.
Conscious Leadership Solution:
The first big step in ensuring your team is engaging/challenging each other in conflict [healthy conflict] is to not protect team members from harm. This level of interruption only deprives the participants of an opportunity to develop conflict management skills. This protecting also leaves the team thirsting for resolution that never occurs.
Engaging in restraint as a leader when their teams are engaged in conflict allows resolution to occur naturally. Finally, the ability for a leader to personally model appropriate conflict behavior is critical.
Teams that engage in conflict [healthy conflict] have productive meetings that produce successful outcomes. Extract and maximize the thought-leading ideas of all team members. Solve problems much more effectively and efficiently and put critical topics on the table for discussion – exile office politics.
- Designated Conflict Miner: Allow all team members to point out topics that seem to be constantly avoided. Those team members that don’t engage in the discussion can be appointed the “head miner” – this builds courage and confidence to call out sensitive topics without fear of reprisal. This conflict mining also encourages a commitment to stay with the topic until there is resolution.
- Real World Permission: During conflict [healthy conflict] all team members should be encouraged not to retreat from a spirited debate. Tensions will rise and may get uncomfortable at times. The leader of the meeting is encouraged to interrupt the debate and encourage all members this level of discussion is necessary to seek a heartfelt resolution that all buy into.
- Personality and Behavioral Assessment Profiles: These in-depth assessments (we use TTI) provide a roadmap/cheat sheet on how each team member communicates and doesn’t like to be communicated with. Essential knowledge that produces highly effective communication and quickly builds trust.
While each of these tools can have a significant impact on a team’s ability to engage in conflict [healthy conflict] quickly solving team problems more efficiently.
So, at Thomas & Taylor Partners, we are here to help. For us, our purpose is leadership for a better world, and we are here to help you in showing up as the leader you need to be. We are here to support you globally. We are on this journey together. This is an invitation, an invitation to join us in creating a collaborative movement: the movement that is leadership for a better world.