The way these behaviors are perceived by others is what ultimately distinguishes an effective leader from a corporate bully. Awareness of the impact one’s behaviors has on others is the key to success in the corporate world.
Two strategies underscore a coaching initiative. First, no one changes without new awareness. Being aware of ourselves and our ability to read and respond adeptly, to meet challenges that come our way, requires a keen self-awareness of our default tendencies. This self-awareness allows us to respond mindfully to the needs before us, rather than out of habit.
Secondly, it’s developing awareness of the situation. It’s helpful to think of adjusting one’s strengths like the volume control on a radio. The trick is to get the setting just right for the situation. Knowing how much passion to put into our communication, how seriously to stress a concern, how deep to get into the details, how fast to drive an initiative - these all require a deft touch - equal parts of knowing your strengths and knowing your audience. Coaching provides an experience to learn those skills and develop conflict competence and is a core skill passed on from a coach to a leader who learns how to coach subordinates.
One way to quickly identify the challenges and people’s perception of how effective people are in difficult situations, is by using a 360 multi-rater survey. Having used the Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP I or 360) for more than a decade, I have my clients use the CDP I, or the 360 survey to recognize and address challenging issues, to engage constructively, regulate self-control, delay a response – that is, choose constructive responses, this is never easy under stressful situations.
Clients are often surprised by their results of their survey, how they think and how others see them in this comprehensive survey. The CDP survey provides the coach with the client, a process to help the manager close the gap between self-perception and others’ perception, with new awareness of what gets in the way of effectively practicing those attributes mentioned earlier, and create and develop an action plan to practice new ways of dealing with conflict. I find this the best way to mitigate a manager’s “under the hood” conflict situations and tune down (or up) the earlier learned habits that limit effectiveness and productivity and to learn and practice conflict competence.
The Cost of Conflict in the Workplace
Unresolved workplace conflict can cost organizations a great deal of time and money. It’s not uncommon for leaders to spend as much as 70 percent of their time of their work-related energy managing difficult relationships with bosses, direct reports, peers. Wasted management time, absenteeism, lowered employee retention, medical claims, grievances, lawsuits and workplace violence can all be aggravated by ineffective conflict management efforts.
The Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP) was developed to prevent harmful conflict in the workplace. It provides managers and employees with a greater awareness of how they respond when faced with conflict so that they can improve on those behaviors causing the most problems.
The CDP’s focus on conflict behaviors, rather than styles, emphasizes an action-oriented approach which lessens the problems associated with harmful or unproductive forms of conflict and results in more effective conflict management skills.
The Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP) is a diagnostic assessment that focuses on peoples’ behaviors in the workplace.
Effective conflict management skills are crucial for employers, managers and leaders, leading to greater conflict resolution, productivity, performance management, employee engagement and talent retention.
Conflict in the Workplace – How Coaching and The Conflict Dynamics Profile Can Make a Difference
Conflict Mediation is also offered as a half-day course with participants taking the CDP assessment as part of the tuition. Each participant receives an individual debriefing or the participant’s results.
What typical characteristics come to mind when you think about leaders in the workplace? Confidence, aggressiveness, the ability to set high expectations, and to build a team, is among the critical characteristics of successful leaders. Often it’s these same characteristics that set the stage for conflict to take place in a work setting. There’s a fine line that can define effectiveness.