Good leaders need GREAT conflict management and trigger control skills. How are yours?
Face it: Every conversation you have, across the entire 360° of your sphere of influence, results in the possibility of you triggering someone – or them triggering you.
Yes, just from the very nature of the conversations leaders must have, every single day, the probability of you triggering someone, or someone triggering you – even accidentally – is ever-present.
Managing DOWN –
These are the conflicts where you, the leader, must provide performance feedback to staff who may, or may not be interested in (or in agreement with) your assessment of them, but absolutely need to hear you in order to meet the ongoing needs of the organization. They can choose what they choose, but it’s your job to make sure they know, full well, the implications of their choices.
So how good are you with these types of accountability and realignment discussions? What happens when you fail to address important issues in a timely manner with your direct reports?
If Managing DOWN is the most ‘thought of’ direction in which to lead, which it is, how good are you with these types of conflicts? What triggers you about them? And what happens when that happens?
Managing ACROSS –
These are the conflicts where you, the leader, must ask (and convince) your peers and cross-functional team members from other departments and organizations to stop what they’re doing so they can work on what YOU want them to do, instead. No small task. So how compelling your are at communicating and influencing those you have no formal authority over matters greatly.
What happens when you can’t get them to listen or agree with you? What doesn’t get done because of it? And what’s collateral damage from inadvertently triggering your peers in the process?
Managing ACROSS is the most ‘discounted’ direction in which to lead. Which means you likely need to become more skilled at managing these types of conflicts. So what are you doing to become more intentionally more influential with your peers and industry contacts and connectins? How are you building others readiness to follow your lead? Or is your impact already where you want it to be?
Managing UP –
These are the conflicts where you, the leader, must squirrel up all your courage and tell your boss what s/he’s doing wrong – and what you REALLY need to achieve your absolute best work, – notwithstanding whatever immediate push-back or negative consequences your fear.
Of course how well (or poorly) you do it makes all the difference. So how good are you with managing these types of conversations? How is your poise and presence with those having more authority than you; with those having authority over you? How often to you even forget (or ignore) this part of your job? And what happens to your esteem (and effectiveness) when you let your boss ignore, or run roughshod over you?
Managing UP is the most ‘under-utilized’ direction in which to lead. There’s tremendous power in knowing how to manage such conflicts constructively. What are you doing to become increasingly better at them? Where are the gaps in your skills and confidence? How are you helping them not get triggered by your questions and comments?
Managing WITHIN –
Last, but surely not least, these are the conflicts where you, the leader, must grapple with the conflict within YOURSELF – those counterproductive thoughts, feeling, and behaviors that keep you doubting, unsure, off-balanced, second-guessing yourself, and reluctant to learn, grow, and achieve more meaningfully. Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Can I handle this stress and strain? Do I even know what to do, here?
Being in conflict with yourself, like this, dilutes your reputation, identity, impact, happiness, and success – past, present, and future – more quickly, and sometimes more permanently, than you likely realize. Unless you’ve already seen this.
That’s why Managing WITHIN is the most challenging direction in which to lead, and THE most important area of focus for any thinking, caring, human being in a leadership role. It’s also why your ability to manage these types of conflicts is the single-best predictor of your leadership success and potential.
Barry Zweibel focuses as intently as he does on helping leaders see their leadership development through this lens of conflict management and trigger control because it’s been proven to be the fastest, easiest, most reliable, and most enjoyable path to increasing – and sustaining – one’s influence skill-building and leadership success.
And that’s what leadership traction is all about.
“Thanks to Barry Zweibel, I’m getting triggered less, building my influence more, and becoming the leader I always hoped I could be!”
So How About You?
Have you started to see why conflict management, trigger control, and influence skill-building are so key to your leadership development and upside potential? Are you starting to see why ALL leaders should view their leadership development through this ‘leadership development can be significantly accelerated through improved conflict management, trigger control, and influence skill-building’ lens?
What are YOU doing to actively manage your triggers, who tends to trigger you, and who you tend to trigger?
Now if you’re already good with conflict, great!
But if you’re not – and most leaders ARE not –
then we should talk.
Barry Zweibel | LeadershipTraction®
Leadership Development | Conflict Management | Influence Skill-Building
Master Certified Coaching (MCC)