Conflict. Confrontation. Most of us hate it. We avoid it. We simply hope it goes away. The negative effects of unresolved conflicts include:
- Decrease in productivity
- Lack of focus on company objectives
- Loss of respect for leadership
- Destructive gossip
- Covering up underlying, hidden problems
- An erosion of trust with leadership
- Higher turnover
- Lack of buy-in on critical issues
As the CEO of your company and a manager of people, you have both a tremendous opportunity and a tremendous responsibility when it comes to constructive dialog.
Your opportunity? You have the chance to influence the behavior of people in a way that helps them grow, and at the same time helps your business grow. And as long as things are going well, it’s easy to have those kinds of dialogs.
Your responsibility? You also need to have hard conversations with employees when things aren’t going well. The burden of responsibility for a CEO is when the news isn’t good, and the necessary conversation won’t be positive.
Here are the three secrets to making conflict and confrontation dialogs easier, and at the same time encourage the type of behavior you want from your people:
- Be very clear on what behaviors you’ll tolerate and what behaviors you won’t tolerate. (This could also minimize future uncomfortable conversations.)
- Create a company-wide communications/dialog plan that outlines what and how information will be shared – when, by whom, and how often.
- Watch for behaviors that cause turmoil and be prepared to address them immediately.
Too many companies allow bad behavior to fester until it slowly begins to define the company’s culture. Strategic dialog with the right people at the right time can nip this in the bud. Monitor the working culture daily and step in when necessary to have an uncomfortable but important dialog.
Need help with this topic or leadership coaching? Contact Mission Critical Teams.