Daily Leadership Tips Week #2 – Conflict Resolution Skills.
Many of this week’s principles will help you create a more positive outcome from negative situations.
These principles are excellent when used to calm an angry person or persuade people to see a different point of view. You may not convince the other person every time, but you should see more positive resolutions.
Keep in mind, that if we have not established solid trust by using the principles from last week, resolving conflicts can be much more difficult.
- Be proactive instead of reactive.
- Be slow to anger—especially over petty issues.
- Instead of telling people they are wrong, point out mistakes indirectly.
- Look for some type of common ground as soon as possible.
- If you find that you are in the wrong, admit it.
- Admit one of your own poor decisions before pointing out a similar error by others.
- Mend fences whenever possible.
Leadership Principle #8 – Be Proactive Instead of Reactive.
“Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.” – Lester R. Bittel
George Bernard Shaw said, “The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”
That is great advice for any leader. People who wait for things to happen are always at least one step behind the people who make things happen.
I spent my first year as a manager constantly moving from one fire to the next. Once the stress became so unbearable, I did something that was entirely out of my comfort zone… I asked for help from my mentor.
I explained to him what an average day was for me. Then, after he stopped laughing, he asked me a few questions that just floored me.
First, he asked, “How much of your time do you spend planning?”
I tried to explain to him that I had a daily calendar, but he told me that a schedule was a good start but wasn’t enough.
He then asked more questions, “Before you make a decision, do you first look for possible obstacles that could slow down implementation?”
My delayed answer told him all that he needed to know.
His final question was, “How much of your budget do you have set aside for training your people?”
He could tell by my blank stare that I had never thought of any of those things. Then, he gave me a piece of advice that I have found to be invaluable. He said that if I spent more time preparing and planning, then I could better control the outcome.
He was right.
IF YOU ARE CONSTANTLY PUTTING OUT FIRES, TRY BEING MORE PROACTIVE.
Most managers and supervisors think that their job is to look for problems and then come in on their white horse to fix them.
The big challenge with this type of thinking is that once the problem presents itself, we’ve already lost time and money. The manager feels good about herself because she has an opportunity to put out a fire and become a hero. But every time this happens, we are teaching the people that work for us that it is okay to be sloppy. Why not? The boss will always come in and save us.
In order to help our people grow and reduce conflicts, let’s be proactive versus reactive.