We all want to believe that key employees, leaders and executives get along with one another. However, when issues arise, so do people’s egos. Information silos, inappropriate comments and an inability to resolve differences often get in the way of supporting the company’s success. These conflicts can hurt the profitability, performance and productivity of any company.
While differing opinions and managed discussions can create better decisions, they require using high-level emotional intelligence, listening to understand and employing good business practices. And, when you put the collective success of the company’s management team first, great results can be achieved.
The Only Thing That Matters Is Being Responsible for the Team’s Success
There is no magic formula, and there are no quick answers. Get real and be responsible for your team’s success.
Hire a business advisor. Using the same thinking that created the problem will not provide the solution. I’ve seen companies rely on books, a team member’s strong personality and other non-contributing factors, and still they fail to resolve the true underlying issues. Hoping and waiting for everything to work out is a default strategy that rarely makes a positive difference. Instead, hire a business advisor who can uncover the real issues (not the surface issues) and guide team members to get everyone on the same page by making the required, and sometimes difficult, changes.
Use Qualified Assessments. When attempting to make positive changes, you cannot transform a team without first addressing the truth in a respectful manner. Objective data about the team’s personality can provide insight into how to move everyone forward together. For example: If you have a team that primarily relies on their feelings to make decisions, interjecting factual information will help everyone move forward.
Listen to Understand. I remember years ago a business owner stating, “This listening takes too much work.” He’s right. It can when you haven’t developed the necessary communication skills. Always remember when you are feeling impatient that if you take the time to address concerns now, you’ll save a lot of time, money and energy later.
Manage Conflict. Differing opinions, thoughts and feelings can make for better decisions. To make it easier for others to hear you, state your opinions, thoughts and feelings as your own: “I believe …” “In my opinion …” When listening to others, repeat what you heard them say first and clarify before offering your opinion. You will be amazed at the results. When you see that you agree on some points and agree to disagree on others, you can build better win-win decisions.
Talk Straight When Apologizing. Instead of further upsetting the situation with excuses about why you said what you said, simply say, “I’m sorry.” Then, be quiet! While it’s important that leaders develop a thicker skin, it’s also important to be responsible for what you say and do.
Encourage Team Members to Work It Out Now. Another benefit to using a qualified assessment is that the results can be a starting point for difficult conversations. First, have team members review each other’s results, one-on-one. Second, talk about where you are similar and where there are differences. (Remember: Results are not good or bad, right or wrong). When two strong-willed executives started making negative comments about one another, their coach told them to sit down and work it out now. They used the assessment as their starting point. They learned why they were frustrated with each other’s different work and communication styles. They now have an amicable work relationship that they value.
Stop It Now! If you sense a problem brewing, don’t wait. It’s easier to understand the crux of the problem at its infancy then if you wait until it has become a full-blown problem and everyone has taken an inflexible position.
When the Problem Is You. Each person on a management team is responsible for its success. If you and others are not good facilitators, get the team trained now! Learn how to listen to one another’s points of view, value each person’s input, build on others’ ideas and acknowledge each and every person’s contributions. This will build a strong, successful team and company.
If you truly want to master turning around management team conflicts, use these tools for taking responsibility. When every team member takes responsibility, you will be able to build a successful company.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2018
Need a speaker or facilitator to successfully address company issues? As a leader, it’s very important for you to know how to facilitate a group, even if you are not the one leading it. Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works!
Jeannette Seibly has been called a catalyst. She is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant who guides her clients to achieve unprecedented results. Remember, meetings can be effective, fun and rewarding! And, they require everyone to become a meeting facilitator. Are you ready? Step up now! Check out her website, or contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.