Posts Tagged ‘conflict’

Resolving ConflictIn Resolving Conflicts at Work, Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith help readers understand the underlying causes of conflict and how to approach it in new ways. Conflicts at work arise because companies are made up of diverse group of people with different communication styles and differing expectations. Few people have been trained to resolve conflict in a healthy manner, which is why conflict is common in every workplace. Transformation does not occur until people first resolve how they became stuck in conflict and take time to develop new strategies. When an organization operates with a culture where conflicts are avoided, honesty and creativity is lost in the process. People need to take time to look inward and understand what conflict means to them and how their perceptions impact the way they respond to these situations.

According to the authors:

  • All conflict is influenced by an individual’s background and learned responses. When people understand this, they can work to uncover the hidden meanings behind any conflict.
  • When people listen to opponents with an open mind, their opponents will do the same for them.
  • The language used to describe a conflict reflects attitudes and assumptions. It can reveal the interests, emotions, and histories that are behind the surface-level issue.
  • Difficult behaviors are present in every workplace and, in some cases, are inadvertently encouraged through reward systems. When these behaviors are discussed in the open, there is opportunity to improve on all sides and develop perseverance.
  • Resistance is often the result of an underlying need, such as improved communication or greater involvement in decision making. When the reasons for resistance are explored, it becomes easier to collaborate and negotiate for a solution.
  • To prevent the same conflicts in the future, systems can be developed within an organization. This prevents conflicts and sets the standard for how they are to be managed when they do occur.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.


Read Full Post »

87598529In his book When Teams Collide, cross-cultural expert Richard D. Lewis offers pragmatic advice for assembling, blending, and strengthening international teams. An advocate for the frank discussion of the differing attitudes and values of different cultures, Lewis presents a guide to building and caring for these teams. Millions of these international teams will exist in the 21st century, and each of these teams needs to be capable of making decisions quickly while also striving to break new ground. When a team of international minds has a complementary skill set, members of that team can become key figures in the company as a whole.

Lewis offers the following advice to readers:

  • There are three main types of cultures: linear-active, multi-active, and reactive. Linear-active cultures are task-oriented and organized. Multi-active cultures tend to be emotional and impulsive. Reactive cultures feature good listeners who rarely initiate action, preferring to listen and then formulate an opinion.
  • Teams must be organized from the outset. National strengths, weaknesses, and taboos must be considered.
  • The team must share a lingua franca, or common language. Each language has its own benefits and limitations, with English, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and French being common choices.
  • The leader of an international team must be selected carefully. However, in the end, good leaders are defined by personality, not by their passports.
  • Cultural differences and taboos among team members should be acknowledged right away. Openness promotes synergy.
  • Humor is a powerful tool in a manager’s arsenal. When a team develops its own humor style, it signifies that it has “come of age.”
  • A decision-making process must be clarified to keep the team running smoothly. There must be a system to break deadlocks.
  • Ethics may vary from culture to culture, but behaving ethically is important in all cultures. Be aware of potential gray areas.
  • Building trust takes time. Trust often has to be earned, though it can occur spontaneously among countrymen.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Team TurnaroundsThe Secret of TeamsCollaborate!

Read Full Post »

The news of the Democratic walk out in Wisconsin and the possibility of a government shut down in the near future emphasize the need for responsible leadership now more than ever. As politics become more extreme, it is not a matter of who is right or wrong, but whether or not our leaders can act responsibly and be held accountable for carrying out the functions of their position.

In corporate life as in politics, leaders must be willing to fight for what they believe is right, but also have the courage to face challenges head on. There will always be opposition for any leader when working toward a vision or goal, but that opposition is necessary for pushing the leader to be his or her best. Individuals become stronger by having to surmount obstacles. Running away only delays the inevitable confrontation and weakens a person’s character.

When a leader is hired or appointed, his or her followers have expectations concerning what their leader will accomplish. Leaders must do their best to come through on these expectations, but must work within the system they find themselves. When hired or appointed, leaders recognize and agree to the rules and terms of their position; they should fight for what they believe is right, but respect the responsibilities that come with the job. If victory is not possible, leaders must accept defeat graciously and hope the opposition will do the same in the future.

Read Full Post »