Leading Teams Through Conflict

Leading Teams Through Conflict

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of How To Get On With The Boss and The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Leading Teams Through Conflict – when a new group comes together all kinds of tensions may arise. Team members will begin to debate how to go forward. What are the priorities going to be?  Who is going to take which role in the team? What systems and processes will you put in place? At this point your leadership skills are important.

Differences of opinion and beliefs can lead to conflict. And team members may begin to jockey for position. Power struggles can break out, particularly if you have a number of strong personalities vying to lead. They may begin to challenge you as group leader. And cliques may form. 

Leading Teams Through Conflict – where to start

So what can you do? The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationship and emotional issues. Some compromises will need to be made. You will need to help them find the middle ground. 

A good way to start is to make sure that all are clear about the goal. Show them the real benefits of what you are trying to do. There needs to be lots of communication. The group has to understand the importance of the task, the processes needed and their roles. 

If all is going well, the group will move on to agree some “norms” for working together.

If you still have tensions

But, if you still have tensions, set down the ground rules for group behaviour.  Get the group to agree that they should treat each other with respect. You will need to keep a close eye on the debate. If it is about ideas, that is a good sign and they can be left to work it out if time allows. But, if the debate becomes personal then you will need to intervene. Don’t suppress conflict completely because the group will stagnate. They will not learn to work together very well if you suppress debate. This is where planning social events can help. These give people an opportunity to see each other in a more rounded way. 

If necessary, tighten up the goals and targets. Get the group to focus very sharply upon them. Make sure they understand the benefits which will be lost if people are not ready to compromise and reach agreement. If cliques have formed, try putting people to work with others outside their chosen subgroup. This is so that new relationships can be established. 

With your leadership, the team will come together and meet their goals. 

Other resources to help you

You will find lots of other tips on team leadership on my blog. Try this link.”

Leading Teams Through Conflict
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

If you are looking for a new job, you can find help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL .

Remember working with a career coach can really help you be successful. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype. Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

Are you a good team leader? Take my test.

Are you a good team leader?

Are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

Are you a good team leader? See how well you are doing in the leadership stakes. If you are serious about being a good leader, then you should be able to give serious answers to all these questions.

 

  1. There is no “best” style of leadership. How ready are you to be flexible? What do you think this means?
  2. The most successful leaders adapt their leadership style to the ability of the people they lead and the needs of the task. Do you know what those are? How will you find out?
  3. At the start of a task, good leaders explain what, how, why, when, where and what to do to start the task. Do you have that information ready for your team? How will you get it?
  4. Good Leaders recognize that competence and confidence can wax and wane over a project. How will you monitor those variations? How will you be ready to intervene?
  5. Good leaders share leadership when the group is mature. This helps to keep morale and energy up. How strong is your ego feeling today? How will you share leadership?
  6. Enthusiasm and confidence can take a knock when the group realizes just how complicated the challenge is going to be. How are you preparing to monitor this, then step in and support?
  7. A good leader develops the competence and commitment of the team so that they become self-motivated. Have you got the resources available to do this?
  8. Good leaders share the vision-making, as well as the vision. Do you have a process in place to do this?
  9. A good leader refreshes the vision on the journey. Have you made plans for this?
  10. A good leader communicates clearly and listens well. Are you ready to ask your team how well you are communicating?
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

How NASA Builds Teams – LinkedIn Group

How NASA Builds Teams

 

How NASA Builds Teams

 

How NASA Builds Teams – Do you belong to LinkedIn?  If so. this is a great group to join if you are interested in team leadership.  If you don’t belong to LI, this is one more great reason to join.

Members of this group share a common interest in making teams more productive, leaders more effective, workplaces more engaging and work more meaningful.

Dr Charles Pellerin,  world-wide Team Builder and Hubble Team Leader is leader of the group.

“How NASA Builds Teams” by Dr. Pellerin (Wiley, 2009) explains the ‘human physics’ for developing high performance teams based on experience of working with hundreds of teams at NASA and other technology organizations.

If you have a passion to develop yourself as a more effective leader and raise the performance of your team to industry-best levels, you can’t do better than join this group.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

 

 

  • Leadership: How To Build Your Project Team – Some Tips
  • Five Tips to Help You Feel More Confident
  • Job Search – Getting On With The Interview Panel

 

Leadership: How To Build Your Project Team – Some Tips

Build Your Project Team – Tips

Leadership: How To Build Your Project Team – Some Tips

Build Your Project Team – Are you about to lead a new project team? If you are lucky, you are appointed before the rest of the team are chosen. Now, how are you going to set about choosing the right people for your team and then forming them into a well-functioning group?

Selecting the Team

This is when it pays to invest your time and energy in selecting the right people.When you build your project team, you need to have a clear view of the range of skills and abilities needed.  Be very practical.  What matters most is not necessarily having excellence but achieving balance! You need a good mix and balance of skills and experience.  As well as having specialist skills, team members need to be able to get along with each other.  You want a group that communicates well and works together to achieve results

Set Out the Ground Rules and Style of Working

Right from the start, model how you want the team to behave.  From your very first team meeting, show people how you want them to be behave.  Get there on time and make clear that you expect other people to do the same thing.  Make sure people understand what the team is there to do and what you expect.  Be clear – this is not the time for ambiguity.  Where you can, be ready to include all team members in decision-making.  But make sure people are understand that you are accountable for the decisions made. And make sure people are clear about their own and other people’s roles and who has responsibility for what.  If some things are not settled yet, explain how and when decisions will be made and how people will find out about them.

Have Clear Goals

It is important that the team as a whole has clear and achievable goals and that these are set out for individuals in the team.  Goals need to both attainable and unambiguous. Those set for one person should not be duplicated in the goals set for someone else, nor should they be in conflict. If the achievement of goals depends on out-side factors, people need to understand what they personally will be accountable for. If you want to lift morale, give some thought to goals that, while challenging, can be delivered fairly quickly, so that people can start out with a feeling of success.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is likely to be the most important factor in team success or failure. Your team and stakeholders (others with an interest) need to know what is happening.  Have a strategy for communicating from the beginning – think through who needs to know what and when.  Then set up how you will communicate and how often. Make sure everyone is clear how they will get information.

I hope you find these tips useful.  Teams are great places to work when they are set up properly and time invested at the beginning is never wasted.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Stress and the HR Professional
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  • Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favorites!

 

Team Skills – Are There Any Followers Left?

Team skills – today we have a guest post from Lauren Smythe who works with College City as an online instructor. She also works as a consultant teaching team skills for small and mid-sized companies.

Are There Any Followers Left?

I am a follower. There are not many of us. It seems everyone wants to be a leader. Whom will you lead if there are no followers? As a follower, I believe I have some expertise in defining the kind of person I prefer to follow. These are just a few of the characteristics I look for when I am trying to find someone worth following.

    • I want a leader to lead by example. I do not like people who delegate all the work and disappear. We are supposed to be a team. If we are all in this together, I want my leader to be there, as well. A manager is not the same thing as a leader. A manager manages. A leader leads.
    • If you lead, I will follow. If you do not know where you are going, neither will I. A leader has to have vision, a plan and the ability to communicate both. I like to think I am going somewhere when I follow someone.
    • I want a leader I can trust. It is impossible to have confidence in someone who does not feel the need to earn my trust. I can forgive a mistake, but I cannot forgive or forget a lie.
    • I want my share of the reward for the effort I put forth. As my leader, that means I would appreciate your appreciation. Let me know you are happy to have me on your team. Tell me I am doing a good job if I am. I need your feedback, so I can improve my performance. I do not mind your letting me know when I am not doing what you need, but I want you to let me know you have faith in me and believe in my ability to do what you are asking of me.
    • Treat me and all team members the same. We are all part of the team. We should respect each other. That is only possible if you respect all members of the team. We will work better together when we know we do not have to compete for your approval.
    • Ask for my help. I want to be there for you, but I cannot if you do not make the request. I want the team to succeed, so I want to do what you ask of me.
    • Admit your mistakes. We are all human. If something happened, it will not be a problem. If you do not let me know, I will feel you do not trust me. You need to earn my trust just as I need and want to earn yours.

If you are a good leader, you have every right to feel confident. When you have confidence in yourself, it is easier for me to have confidence in you. Someday I, too, may be a leader. I will learn what I need to know from you.

Lauren Smythe works with College City as an online instructor. She also works as a consultant teaching team skills for small and mid-sized companies.

  • What is Transformational Leadership?

  • How Many Leadership Styles Do You Need – Life Cycle Leadership

  • Starting a new project – are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

  • Chairmen, Leaders, Managers and the Blame Game.

Are There Any Followers Left?

Today we have a guest post from Lauren Smythe who works with College City as an online instructor. She also works as a consultant teaching team skills for small and mid-sized companies.

Are There Any Followers Left?

I am a follower. There are not many of us. It seems everyone wants to be a leader. Whom will you lead if there are no followers? As a follower, I believe I have some expertise in defining the kind of person I prefer to follow. These are just a few of the characteristics I look for when I am trying to find someone worth following.

    • I want a leader to lead by example. I do not like people who delegate all the work and disappear. We are supposed to be a team. If we are all in this together, I want my leader to be there, as well. A manager is not the same thing as a leader. A manager manages. A leader leads.
    • If you lead, I will follow. If you do not know where you are going, neither will I. A leader has to have vision, a plan and the ability to communicate both. I like to think I am going somewhere when I follow someone.
    • I want a leader I can trust. It is impossible to have confidence in someone who does not feel the need to earn my trust. I can forgive a mistake, but I cannot forgive or forget a lie.
    • I want my share of the reward for the effort I put forth. As my leader, that means I would appreciate your appreciation. Let me know you are happy to have me on your team. Tell me I am doing a good job if I am. I need your feedback, so I can improve my performance. I do not mind your letting me know when I am not doing what you need, but I want you to let me know you have faith in me and believe in my ability to do what you are asking of me.
    • Treat me and all team members the same. We are all part of the team. We should respect each other. That is only possible if you respect all members of the team. We will work better together when we know we do not have to compete for your approval.
    • Ask for my help. I want to be there for you, but I cannot if you do not make the request. I want the team to succeed, so I want to do what you ask of me.
    • Admit your mistakes. We are all human. If something happened, it will not be a problem. If you do not let me know, I will feel you do not trust me. You need to earn my trust just as I need and want to earn yours.

If you are a good leader, you have every right to feel confident. When you have confidence in yourself, it is easier for me to have confidence in you. Someday I, too, may be a leader. I will learn what I need to know from you.

Lauren Smythe works with College City as an online instructor. She also works as a consultant teaching team skills for small and mid-sized companies.

  • What is Transformational Leadership?

  • How Many Leadership Styles Do You Need – Life Cycle Leadership

  • Starting a new project – are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

  • Chairmen, Leaders, Managers and the Blame Game.

Starting a new project – are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

Horse-race at Auteuil hippodrome Français : Co...

Starting a new project – are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

Starting a new project? See how well you are doing in the leadership stakes. If you are serious about being a good leader, then you should be able to provide serious answers to all these questions.

  1. There is no “best” style of leadership. How prepared are you to be flexible? What do you think this means?
  2. The most successful leaders adapt their leadership style to the capability of the people they lead and the needs of the task. Do you know what those are? How will you find out?
  3. At the start of a task, good leaders explain what, how, why, when, where and what to do to start the task. Do you have that information ready for your team? How will you get it?
  4. Good Leaders recognize that competence and confidence can wax and wane over a project. How will you monitor those variations? How will you be prepared to intervene?
  5. Good leaders share leadership when the group is mature. This helps to keep morale and energy up. How strong is your ego feeling today? How will you share leadership?
  6. Enthusiasm and confidence can take a knock when the group realizes just how complicated the challenge is going to be. How are you preparing to monitor this, then step in and support?
  7. A good leader develops the competence and commitment of the team so that they become self-motivated. Have you got the resources available to do this?
  8. Good leaders share the vision-making, as well as the vision. Do you have a process in place to do this?
  9. A good leader refreshes the vision on the journey. Have you made plans for this?
  10. A good leader communicates clearly and listens well. Are you prepared to ask your team how well you are communicating?

A good leader should come up with good answers to all these questions. But lots of us would like to be better leaders. If you want somewhere to start, the books at this link come very well recommended.

Wendy Mason is a Career Coach with Life Coaching skills and expertise in helping people have the confidence they need to be successful at work while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason
@wisewolfcoaching.com

Leadership Styles – Now Discover Your Strengths

For decades, Gallup scientists have researched the topic of leadership. They’ve surveyed a million work teams, conducted more than 50,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and  interviewed 20,000 followers to ask what they admired in the most important leader in their life.

The results of that research are set out in the book, Strengths-Based Leadership.

Using Gallup’s discoveries, authors Tom Rath and Barry Conchie identify three keys to being an effective leader

  1. The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths. In the workplace, when an organization’s leadership fails to focus on individuals’ strengths, the odds of an employee being engaged are a dismal 1 in 11 (9%). But when an organization’s leadership focuses on the strengths of its employees, the odds soar to almost 3 in 4 (73%). When leaders focus on and invest in their employees’ strengths, the odds of each person being engaged goes up eightfold.
  2. The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team. While the best leaders are not well-rounded, the best teams are! Strong, cohesive teams have a representation of strengths in each of these four domains: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking.
  3. The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs. People follow leaders for very specific reasons. When asked, thousands of followers were able to describe exactly what they need from a leader with remarkable clarity. This was trust, compassion, stability, and hope.

Tom Rath and Barry Conchie used firsthand accounts from highly successful leaders to show how each person’s unique talents can drive their success. The leaders included the founder of Teach for America and the president of The Ritz-Carlton.

Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment is available to readers with an access code that accompanies the book. This helps you discover your own special gifts, and specific strategies show you how to lead with your top five talents and how to plot the strengths of your team based on the four domains of leadership strength;

  • Executing,
  • Influencing,
  • Relationship Building
  • Strategic Thinking.

The second theme in this work is identifying the followers “Four Basic Needs”; Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope which should inspire us all!

If you would like to buy the book you can find it at this link.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have
the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. You can email her atwendymason@confidencecoach.me or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

Other useful articles

  • Team Work; forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning with Dr Tuckman
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming,Performing and Adjourning. Part 1 – Managing the Forming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 2 – Managing the Storming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 3 – Managing the Norming Stage

Leadership Styles – the joys of participative leadership?

English: Dark forest track

Everyone loves participative leadership.  Or do they? Usually, most of us would prefer to follow a leader who took our views into account.  Most of us find it easier to commit to something if we have had an opportunity to have our say and to be involved in making important decisions that affect us.

Generally, when a number of people contribute to a decision, that decision gains in quality and there is a better result.

Let us imagine we are walking in a forest with a group of friends.  Suddenly our little path comes out into clearing and there is a fork.  The path on the left disappears off into the trees and so does the one on the right. Sadly, the map we’ve been following is out of date and we can’t even see a clearing.  Which way do we go?

It is getting dark.  A chilly wind is getting up and all we want is to be at home again sitting in front of the fire with a warm drink.  So we argue a bit and realise we are lost – we don’t know north from south.  Then John, who hasn’t said much, reminds us that in the northern hemisphere moss grows more often on the north side of trees. We have lots of trees to check and there we are – we take the left fork.  We’re on our way – home again in half an hour – just as the rain starts!

Well, decisions in organizations can be like that! Sometimes, you, the leader, aren’t really sure you know the best way forward.  You haven’t lost your way exactly but you’d like more information before you make that key decision. Your team would love the opportunity to contribute.  If quiet John in the back office has enough confidence in you he might speak up!  He might just know something you don’t about a new technology or the needs of a particular customer. That information could be invaluable.

Without participative leadership, John would not have opened his mouth. And he certainly wouldn’t have committed to all those late nights working on that new technology to make it work for you and the team.

But, at the end of the day, of course, you are the leader!  What happens when a very urgent or very unpalatable decision has to be made?  Does participative leadership work then?  Or does it have its limits?  I’d love to hear your views

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change. She offers coaching by phone and Skype as well as face to face, particularly for those wanting to increase their confidence. If you would like to know more you can contact Wendy at wendymason@confidencecoach.me  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114.  Her Skype ID is wendymason14.
  • Leadership styles – are you the leader for all seasons? (wisewolftalking.com)
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Three Steps to Resolve Conflict as a Leader

Today we have a guest post from Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving and movie related topics.

I believe her very sensible advice will be useful to all leaders and managers.

Three  Steps to Resolve Conflict as a Leader

As a leader, not only will you have to make sure that everyone stays on task and that all business matters are taken care of, but if there is conflict between two subordinates, know that one (or both) people are going to come to you asking for help to resolve the issue. If/when this occurs, you need to know how to approach and deal with this delicate matter the correct way. Below are a few tips that can help you get the ball rolling.

1. First, Meet with Each Party Individually

It’s important that you hear each side of the story before coming to  any conclusions. Get all the facts. You want to know what/who caused the problem. Ask each employee if they have any documented evidence or dates of when the incident(s) occurred. Take the time to piece the story together while also taking note of how each story differs from the other. While speaking with each individual, you want to make sure that you maintain a cordial and objective tone. You don’t want someone thinking that you favor one story over the other but you don’t want them thinking you’re against them either. Do your best to keep your tone neutral. The key here is to listen.

2. Meet with both parties together

After you have a better grasp of what’s going on and you’ve drawn your own conclusions about what the root of the problem really is (and come up with a possible solution), it’s time to meet with both parties at the same time. While still trying to maintain a cordial and unbiased/objective tone, reiterate to them what you think the real issue is according to your own understanding. Ask them if it’s correct. At this time give your employees a chance to state their version briefly if they feel the need to change some details. Listen to what each person has to say, but make sure to pay attention to body language as well. Let each person propose their own solutions but show that you expect them to reach agreement. If the conflict still can’t be resolved, suggest your own approach. Then ask the both parties which solution they’d prefer. Whatever you do, make sure that none of you leave without some sort of resolution.

3. Document Everything

Lastly, you want to make sure that you have a record of the finalized resolution to the conflict. Type out the agreement! Have both parties sign it and make them copies for their own records. Make sure that you give the original copy to the Human Resources Department so that if the same issue occurs again, you’ll have a record of what was agreed. Whoever is in breach of the agreement at a later date may have to suffer some serious career consequences!

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @gmail.com.