If you’ve ever taken a class or read a book on team development, you’re probably familiar with Tuckman’s stages of group development: forming, storming, norming, and performing (Smith 2005). According to this model, successful teams move through stages of group development on their way to becoming high performance teams. Within each stage lies both interpersonal and task challenges that the team, guided by the team leader, must effectively manage before moving on to the next stage.Read More
Christian called the group together. “Gather up everybody. There’s one more thing to take care of before dinner.”
We were all pretty exhausted after having just hiked for the better part of the day with 60-pound packs on. It was the fourth day of a ten-day Outward Bound trip in the Colorado Mountains and nobody was in the mood for another one of Christian’s team building activities.
“We’ve got a problem,” he began before correcting himself. “Actually, you have a problem.”Read More
As I have mentioned before in this series (The Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict), the biggest key to effectively resolving conflict is preparation. When we have time to prepare we do much better in resolving conflict than when it is thrust upon us and all we can do is react. When I mediate conflicts, I include a preparation and coaching phase with both parties individually before I ever bring them together. This added phase is critical to a successful mediation, resulting in both parties being prepared, goal-focused, and ready for resolution.Read More
There are two components to every argument/conflict…the conflicting issue (the “what”) and the interpersonal dynamics during the conflict (the “how”). Guess which one is most important? That’s right, the “how.”Read More
I had a love-hate relationship with my old boss. The love part was my incredible respect for this former Olympic gold medalist turned CEO of one of the leading professional development companies in the world. He was one of those people who could make an audience laugh, cry, and get inspired—all at the same time. People always came up to me after one of Terry’s amazing speeches to say how lucky I was to work for this man. I’d smile and say, “I sure am”, knowing I was lying through my teeth. In hindsight it was awfully ironic. Here we were, a company best known for our leadership development programs and materials, and yet we didn’t practice a lick of it within our own company. We were a walking contradiction. Do as we say…not as we do!Read More
“I need a volunteer…Greg?” Wow, that was more like telling than asking, I thought. “Sure Ron, I’d be glad to volunteer."
Ron asked me to stand in front of the group as he approached. I knew he picked me for a reason but wasn’t quite sure why…that is until his hands hit my chest with such force that I stumbled back a couple of steps.
“What are you doing?” I yelled, trying to regain my composure.
“What do you think?” he said, as he wound up again for a second attack.Read More
…In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop from above. Tighten the mask by pulling on the straps like this. If you are traveling with a child, place your mask on first before assisting them...
Whenever I hear that part of the flight attendant’s pre-flight spiel, I always smile. I smile because my gut instinct would be to place the mask on a child first—had I not repetitively heard that directive. But I get the idea—save yourself so you can save others!Read More
A colleague of mine said it best: We have a bow and a quiver with five arrows at our disposal at any given time. Each arrow represents one of the five conflict styles. When in a conflict, we need to keep our eye on the bull’s-eye (the desired outcome) and choose the arrow which will get us there most accurately. If we don’t choose an arrow, our default arrow becomes our arrow of choice. The problem is that our default arrow has more to do with familiarity and self-protection than conflict resolution. More often than not, it isn’t our best choice.Read More
From Geese's Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict:
Have you ever been cut-off by a driver on the highway and then instantly gave them some feedback?
Have you ever said something to someone that you didn’t mean?
Have you ever misjudged someone only to find out later that you were wrong?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, congratulations! You may not know it but you have already climbed the Ladder of Inference.Read More
n my opinion, we are more effective in conflict when we are prepared, focused on a desired outcome, and have a plan. Granted not all conflicts allow us the luxury to do all three but I would argue that those types of conflict require a much different strategy anyway. Let’s focus on the ongoing difficult relationship first.Read More
My staff cringes whenever I bring up the topic of team building. Talk about resistance! Last year we went to a baseball game as a group but I’m not sure anything was accomplished. Oh wait, we did decide to never do a baseball game again…but I digress. Is team building really necessary? I ask because you gave a speech at a conference I attended recently and I remember that you emphasized the importance of it. Can you expound on that again?
-Kumbaya KimberlyRead More
As a nation of primarily conflict avoidant people, just the notion of escalating conflict can sound like a contradiction. And yet, there are times when escalating a conflict is exactly what you need to do.
But the conditions have to be right.
What do I mean? I mean that there has to be an intention…a purpose…or a reason for escalating a conflict, first and foremost. And the more favorable the reason—the more favorable the likely outcome.Read More
Per your request, can you tell us how to know if we have micromanager tendencies…and what to do if we’re either the micromanager or the one being micromanaged?
-Michael from BaltimoreRead More