Excuse Me, Your Red is Leaking on my Blue

My apologies if you were expecting a political post.  I am discussing a somewhat related topic… conflict. A study by AtTask found that U.S. employees spend an average of 2 1/2 hours per week resolving workplace conflict, which aggregates to $359B in lost productivity.  When I share this statistic in a workshop, participants often smirk and say, “only 2 1/2 hours?”  Top reasons cited in the study include mismatched priorities, miscommunication and differing expectations regarding deadlines. What the surveyors miss is conflict based on the personality factor… the clashes that occur due to our individual ways of relating, pursuing goals or trying to solve a problem. In the vernacular [...]

Seeing Beyond Our Blinders

Most professionals, regardless of industry, are driven by similar motivations. We want to help our clients. We want to make a nice living in a field we find rewarding. And we want to improve our employer’s bottom line. While things vary, let’s focus on these three prime motivations for a moment. As sound, solid and universal as they are, even they can create blinders that lead to not-so-positive outcomes—for our clients, for us, and for our businesses—when one of them begins to dominate our actions. Scott’s story Scott, a producing sales manager and loan officer for a large national lender, [...]

Film Room #2: The Slide Under Pressure

" When you slide back into old patterns, your overdone strengths become your weaknesses. As I discovered during the first half of the 2012 season, it’s easy to slide back. "  Victor Santa Cruz, head coach Azusa Pacific University When Azusa Pacific University (APU) took the leap from NAIA to NCAA Division II, coach Santa Cruz, his staff and his team felt prepared for continued success. After all, they’d spent the last few seasons building a winning program. Why shouldn’t success continue? (Read the previous installment for our Film Room series for a background on APU’s move from NAIA to [...]

Calming the Ripples and Waves of Conflict

Most business leaders I know are great at focusing on what I’ll call “primary” conflicts, the challenges that arise from interpersonal issues, or have to do with making unpopular, bottom-line-driven decisions. What’s interesting is that many of these same leaders act as if primary conflicts occur in vacuums. They don’t recognize the secondary ripples these conflicts create and send out across departments and companies. When left unchecked, these secondary conflicts can and will undermine an organization’s health. A closer look at the ripples I use ripples here because it makes for an apt visual. That’s how secondary conflicts often start—a [...]