Leadership...through the eyes of a coach...Alan Booth

Monday, December 30, 2013



I am writing this because I have personally observed that the higher up an organization the greater avoidance of personal conflict. This is a real paradox.

What I have found is that the more managers look for conflict, the more they will understand their people...what motivated them, what frustrates them, etc.

As a kid, I was a conflict causer...making my father's life miserable. I learned as an adult that what I was doing us using conflict to get attention. And, wow, what attention I got!  So avoiding conflict make it worse!

The value of seeking out where conflict occurs include:

n  It gets people to talk what is on their mind [what managers need to better understand]

n  It opens the door to finding out why the conflict exists

n  Once discovered, conflict allows us to shift blaming to one of "ownership" of a situation

Why do we miss conflict or dissatisfaction?

1.    Because we don't pay attention to changes in facial expressions or posture, and

2.    We have been conditioned to avoid it.

A former CEO of GM approached conflict  this way, "I propose we postpone discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement". Go foster debate!