Thank you for inspiring me to document musings and learnings from the field of leadership, team performance and conscious change. I trust you'll find the exercises, resources and insights useful whether you are a leader, team player, coach/consultant or change agent.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mastering Constructive Interaction

If you want to advance your career or grow in your leadership, master constructive interaction. Our differences can become sources of conflict without understanding and appreciation. Work styles, values, culture, talents, goals, experiences, awareness levels, interests, purpose and viewpoints make us unique (and crazy at times).

How can we value diversity and collaborate (instead of protecting, fighting or accommodating) in the presence of discord? Experiment with the ideas below to transform the energy of conflict into stronger relationships and win-win outcomes: 

  • Acknowledge conflict: Name it without making anyone wrong
  • Reframe conflict: It is not "bad" but the old making way for the new
  • Recognize conflict styles: Value cooperation and assertiveness with the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument 
  • Articulate benefits: What is gained by working with others?
  • Figure out what can you say yes to: Check out William Ury's The Power of a Positive No
  • Be transparent with decisions: State if you are making a decision, making it with input from others, voting or going for consensus
  • Be agile: Proactively assess what's working, what's not and what needs to change
  • Practice direct communication: Say it straight without sugar coating or sandwiching (good, bad, good)
  • Speak thought bubbles out loud: Articulate what you are making up before it turns into an elephant
  • Stay centered: Check out Thomas Crum's The Magic of Conflict 
  • Be curious: Choose fascination over judgment
  • Build your EQ, SQ and TQ: Learn emotional, social and team system awareness and management skills: Check out Travis Bradley's Emotional Intelligence 2.0 
  • Elevate the conversation: Discuss common vision and goals
  • Check yourself: Is some part of you looking for a fight? Is your identity attached to something?
  • Don't hide: Break out with the Question Behind the Question 
  • Learn needs-based communication: Enable everyone to win with Marshall Rosenberg's Non-Violent Communication 

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