“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” – William James
Conflict… It is a disease and it is contagious. Run for your lives…
And that is what many leaders do, they run.
Have you ever been around that leader who would not deal with conflict? Or, if they did deal with it, they made the matter worse. Why is this? What is it that they do not understand? As we often say… “The handwriting is on the wall…”
Bottom line… Many leaders avoid conflict. Like it or not, conflict is out there and we have to deal with it. Sometimes sooner rather than later. Either leaders do not like it or they do not want to deal with it. It may be that they want everyone to like them and hope that everyone can just get along. Which begs the question, “Why are some people in a leadership position anyway?”
So what happens when conflict is staring them in the face? Something has to happen, right? Well, here are some thoughts…
Bury It – Put this away somewhere and hope it gets lost and never found. Hope no one remembers where it is. If things go right, they will not even remember where they put it.
Deny It – There is no conflict. What are you talking about?
Diminish It – It is not that big of a deal. You are making way too much out of this.
Drown It – Busy themselves with so much other stuff and not have time to deal with it.
Redirect It – Put the situation on someone else and make it their problem.
In each of these thoughts, the conflict is still there. We live in a fantasy world when we believe the situation will take care of itself. That’s the problem… Someone will dig it back up, refuse to let you be in denial, save it, or direct it back.
A leader’s job is to lead. How we handle conflict shows our leadership. Issues will arise and sometimes conflict hitches a ride. Not dealing with conflict or letting it go unresolved traps and backs us into a corner.
When leaders avoid conflict, they put everyone and everything at risk. They even put themselves at risk. Avoiding conflict causes a ripple effect that turns into tidal waves.
Be a leader who knows how to handle conflict. Everyone around you will appreciate it and you.
©2017 J Clay Norton
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