Category: Addressing Problems and Navigating Conflict

Leadership Tip: Recipe for Disaster Ingredients 1 set of missing or unclear expectations 1 dose of poor communication High-stress situation (optional) Instructions 1. Direct team to take action using missing or unclear expectations. 2. Let team members make assumptions, interpretations, and best guesses using poor communication. 3. Wait.

Recipe for Disaster

We need to stop blaming our teams for failing when they aren’t getting the things they need to succeed. Getting clear on expectations, ensuring people have the skills to communicate well, and checking to make sure expectations and communication are being used effectively take a lot of time and energy.   And it’s one of…
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Leadership tip: Without a level of personal confidence and emotional vulnerability, managers will often feel uncomfortable, even embarrassed, about having simple behavioural conversations with their employees - From The Truth About Employee Engagement by Patrick Lencioni

When You’re Resisting the Important Conversations

My suggestions were met with resistance.  Strong resistance.  “A team meeting?  That sounds awkward.”“One-on-ones, won’t that be weird?” We talked about the skills, approaches, and benefits.  And there was still resistance. That resistance took a little while to work through.  In a safe space, over time, we talked about what was really going on in…
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Leadership Tip: Maybe you don't need to learn HOW to have the DIFFICULT DISCUSSION Maybe you need to learn to STOP TRYING With cartoon images of 5 people at the bottom in various states of surprise.

Sometimes the Answer is Giving Up

Well-meaning, helpful people often ask: “How do I get through to them?” They’ve tried explaining it this way.They’ve tried explaining it that way.They’ve listened.They’ve asked questions.They’ve thought through their response for the 15th time.They’ve tried again.  And again.  And again.  And yet, the person they’re talking with still isn’t getting it. They’re blaming, attacking, and…
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Do Something About the Problems

Do Something About It

They keep missing deadlines. They aren’t managing their team well. They aren’t hitting their targets. They <insert thing that I wish would just resolve itself here>. Leaders spend a lot of time hoping problems will go away. They’re missing the point that leadership is mainly about making the problems go away (or better yet, preventing…
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I love a good firing

I Love a Good Firing

I love a good firing. When someone is: 👎 Not interested in or able to align with the organization’s values and culture 👎Creating success in one area at the expense of many other areas and people 👎Not willing or able to be a partner in solving problems They are continuously sucking the life out of…
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Leadership Not Babysitting

Why Can’t They Just Behave Like Adults?

Have you ever referred to your job as “babysitting”? Sighed while lamenting about having to deal with an issue? Questioned why the people you lead “can’t just solve it like adults”? I’ve learned:Most adults suck at effectively navigating conflict and instinctively react either too passively or aggressively.Most adults suck at achieving their goals without support.Most adults suck…
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Dealing with difficult people situations

Stop Dealing With “Difficult People”

I have been trying to avoid labelling people as “difficult.” And choosing instead to label the situation as “difficult.” I adopted this thinking when I was asked to create a “Dealing With Difficult People” program. I wanted one of the key concepts to be that ‘navigating conflict is much easier when you see yourself as…
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Don't just ask why? answer it

Why are they doing THAT?!”

“Why are they doing THAT?” “WHAT were they thinking?” “How did they think THAT was a good idea?” “WHY can’t they just sort it out themselves?” Sigh. Questions like these are asked all day, every day, in organizations.  We express them in frustration to a colleague. We mutter them to our tired selves.  We bring…
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Focus on the lawn not on the weeds

Focus on the Lawn, Not the Weeds

How much time do you spend talking about the underperformers in your organization?  If you’re like most organizations, it’s a lot.  The 80:20 Rule tends to come into play with underperformers – chances are 20% of the people are taking up 80% of your time.  And draining 80% (or even 100%) of your energy. This…
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Soft Skills Silence Silos

We’re often so focused on doing the work that we miss doing the work that matters. We prioritize selling, creating schedules, developing programs, designing products, manufacturing, and installing. We head off to our respective departments and focus on our respective objectives and the work we believe needs to be done. We focus on our bubble…
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