Conflict management for leaders is essential to leadership success because conflicts are inevitable as long as strategic shifts and structural changes are necessary. How to manage conflicts has challenged many leaders. Recently, a CEO wanted to improve his conflict management and was particularly interested in deep human knowledge.
Are people skills alone sufficient conflict management for leaders? NO, because many conflicts are self-induced. The Executive 6Q Assessment found that the CEO needed several puzzles– vision, innovation, deep knowledge of talent, etc. One issue was that he could easily lose temper over low-grade errors. Looking back, he has been at the top of his class from elementary to MBA.
Optimize Conflict Management with the Right Tools
Should we modify his behavior or ask him to consolidate with others publicly? No, instead I told him one story.
I acted like him until I suffered from Traumatic Brain Injury due to an auto-accident. In the beginning of my recovery, my cognitive ability was about elementary school level. I could be easily frightened when I walked on the street since I did not know what to do, so I had to hold my father’s hand. Gradually, my cognitive ability came back, so did my confidence. One day, I was no longer afraid. Even since, I have learned to be empathetic with those who commit mistakes—they do not want that happen, either- and in the meantime, inspire them to learn from their mistakes and grow.
The CEO thanked me for sharing my story. He has faced the same conflicts fewer and fewer each day.
Like EQ and behavior alone cannot build a Level 5 leader, the key to improve conflict management is to evaluate leaders’ underlying structure, choose the right follow-up strategies, models, practice classes, and not to waste time on the secondary behaviors. Self-discovery is important but not always efficient. Public consolidation with others often come with unnecessary humiliation and resistance, which can slow down the problem solving. Existing 360° assessment results are helpful, and there is no need to repeat the assessment since it mainly collect observation, not the root causes. Most training on conflict management for leaders can be done in an efficient and comfortable way, such as listening to a story like the above CEO.
How to Optimize Conflict Management for Leaders Efficiently?
There are two kinds of conflicts—self-induced and environment related. Is it easier to improve self or change others? A great leader needs both.
A leader’s fairness comes first. Otherwise, conflicts can emerge anywhere if the leader tries to disregard others’ benefit, take advantage of others or play personal favor since no many people are stupid. What comes the next is leaders’ vision, Ego, innovation, leadership styles, legal sense, structure making, resilience, etc. Why? Most people would rather tolerate a leader’s people skills if the leader can see far, take right action, and be fair.
Many leaders do not know their talent deep enough, which affects how they task talent, execute their strategies, and prevent conflicts. The lack of deep knowledge of their talent has a lot to do with the leadership and talent development history– most institutions focus on IQ, EQ, and LQ but fail to know the other half of the human system.
In addition to taking the right action, leaders can win hearts easily in daily work through mental and health management.
Different root cause require different solutions, which can be diagnosed first. Usually, the Good to Great Leadership CLASS 1 minimizes self-induced conflicts; CLASS 2 deepens leaders’ talent knowledge, leadership styles and conflict management skills; and X-Class helps to win more hearts and save more human capital. Clients can start to see results in days to weeks like the CEO did in the case above. No need to worry if someone has had too many complaints. In fact, the change can be more impressive than others’. And we will help to magnify the change elegantly.
About the Author
Bin Yang is the author of What Stop Leaders from Good to Great, and the Managing Director of The Prince Synergy (www.theprincesynergy.com), a leading consulting firm that explores missing tools in leadership and success, and solves the hardest issues that no one else can.
If you’d like to learn how to be a great leader and enhance your 6Q instead of IQ and EQ alone, consider reading the life stories in the book and trying the mini quiz. The webinars are also available for hands-on experiences. The Prince Synergy customizes most of its classes and programs based on the Executive 6Q Assessment results. For more information or to schedule an interview, lecture, or appointment, please contact 310-668-1828.
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