The ability to manage conflicts is one of a leader’s greatest challenges. Many teams and entire organizations struggle with the different/conflicting views about how things should run and how change should be implemented. It is crucial for a leader to possess the ability to manage people’s differences in a way that reduces their destructive energy while channeling their constructive energy.
There are two things that a leader can do to ensure this happens (Heifetz & Linsky, 2002):
- Create a safe place to allow for the conflicts to come up.
- As the conflict is boiling, make certain that you, the leader, control that it doesn’t boil over.
In one company, middle managers were unhappy with their leader because they felt restricted about not being able to run their departments in a manner that they believe is best. When the managers raised their concerns, the leader would often respond with minimizing statements…
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