Focus on Decisions
Elizabeth Engel, Leslie White, and I put out a White Paper last week on risk, strategy, and implementation. Although not in the title of the white paper, conflict is a big piece of what we write about. We need to make sure that risk analysis is adequately baked into what we do, at all levels of the organization, and as we do that, we are going to surface disagreements. If we can't handle those disagreements, then we end up avoiding the risk conversation, and that's definitely not a good thing.
Towards the end of the paper, we offer four quick tips on how to move through conflict conversations more effectively. One of them is to focus on making decisions:
Difficult conversations done right take time, which will probably frustrate your action-oriented team members, but this means it is critical to reach a clear decision that will generate action. As you approach the root of the conflict, there is a very real danger that people will retreat back to their conflict-averse behavior, leaving the whole conversation open-ended. Be disciplined enough not to let this happen. Push through to decisions and be clear about actions and follow up. Don’t rush through the conflict, but don’t let the conversation peter out without coming to a decision, either.
Want the other three tips? Then download the PDF!! It's free! The link takes you to the paper; you don't even have to give us your email address.