Productive Conflict: Seeking an Active Resolution

Bart’s team is stuck in a conflict cycle. It’s been weeks now, and a resolution hasn’t been reached. In fact, sides have been taken and the team is split in three different ways. Janice, Becky, and Rodney think that customer support needs to be completely overhauled—new scripts, new training, new management, a whole new direction. … Read more

Productive Conflict: Offer Reassurance

Let’s do a hypothetical. Your team is working on developing new software for one of your top clients. They have some complicated stuff going on, and they need a better way to track what’s coming through the warehouses, what’s exiting, and where it’s going in real time. This is a big project and there’s a … 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 Value Human Interaction

One of my favorite management experts, Mark Horstman of Manager Tools, likes to say, “Email is for the convenience of the sender.” In The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni advocates “cascading communication.” The idea is simple. Members of the executive team agree on a common and consistent set of messages that they will in turn communicate to … Read more

Leaders Use Time Wisely: Rethink the Block

Beware the 30-minute meeting—or the 60-minute meeting. Setting up time blocks that go straight into the next block’s beginning have these results for the heavily-scheduled: No time for a restroom break, so when you take one, you’re late. Growing apprehension that you’re missing an urgent voice mail, email, or progress update. Rushing from one room … Read more

Beware of Being “Violently Polite”

A colleague recently shared a success story with me. She said, “We’ve finally addressed the problem we had with people being ‘violently polite’. Once we put this label on the passive-aggressive talk, and the avoidance of speaking up, we started to get more engagement.” How cool! I immediately fell in love with this term. Asking people … Read more

Effective leaders value clarity

Few things are more energizing than leaving a productive meeting with your team, set ablaze with fresh ideas that will set the wheels in motion. You’re ready to go. Your team is ready to go. You’ve established MT goals and are ready to tackle the world.

It’s a great feeling. Until something, somewhere, gets a little hazy.

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