I had a call with an up-and-coming middle manager who presented a complex situation and then asked a sincere question. A small cross-functional working group was trying to resolve some interdepartmental workflow and boundary issues.... Continue reading
Consensus sounds so nice: Everyone agrees and moves forward together. Kumbaya! Seems like a good thing, right? But here’s how one client described the way his company practices consensus (with my italics): “We have to... Continue reading
According to an old Swahili proverb: “When the elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.” That’s certainly true in organizations where executives have ongoing disagreements. Whether the situation involves explicit, pitched battles, or covert, passive-aggressive... Continue reading
Disagreements and conflicts occur in every organization, no matter how high-functioning the team, how clear the mission, or how lovely the people. As we’ve seen in the last two posts, conflict-averse executives who don’t share... Continue reading
In last week’s post, an exec who didn’t wish to appear picky or small-minded missed the chance to address difficult and inappropriate situations created by her subordinate Xerxes when they were still small and potentially... Continue reading
When an executive disagrees with a proposal or approach, the situation can go in two directions: In the best-case scenario, the disagreement gets worked through collegially, even if it means that other people -- other... Continue reading
In business, lingering problems rarely have a single or simple solution. That’s why they linger. Many work problems are relatively unambiguous and easily are understood by the people who deal with them every day. We... Continue reading
“They threw me under the bus” is one of the most common expressions of complaint among employees who see themselves as the victims of intra- or inter-team sniping. Whenever I hear it, I picture tire... Continue reading
We may talk about the importance of not making assumptions, but we all make them, automatically, all the time. We tend to believe that other people are more like us than not, which explains some... Continue reading
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