Conflict–it happens…




Conflict happens……….ugh!  even amongst the most amazing, professional, creative, and caring people!!

In thinking about conflict there are 6 points to consider!!

Be careful not to interfere in haste.  It’s important not to take sides in conflict any more than is necessary!  If the conflict isn’t a vision issue, and it seems to be resolving on its own, it is best to allow the process to take its course. When the leader gets involved in conflict, it takes on a new life, it can heighten the conflict. I may make it worse!

Listen carefully. There is always two sides o fa conflict. And each side may have valid points. It’s important that I hear not only what is said, but also what is unspoken. That takes asking questions, getting to know the members of a team, and not assuming I know what people are thinking simply by what they say!! Not all behaviour styles express themselves openly, may have to dig a little deeper. Understanding the basis of conflict and the opposing viewpoints is critical to understanding the conflict.

Communicate. During times of conflict, it’s even more important that communication be clear and consistent. Many times, conflict happens due to a lack of clarity or miscommunication. Information often makes conflict easier to resolve. As a leader, part of my responsibility is making sure the team communicates effectively.

Discern the real issue. Conflict develops for a number of reasons; not all of them good. Conflict develops over power struggles, weak leadership or even personality differences. Discerning the nature of the conflict, and if there is a root issue (often unspoken or undefined), can help avoid trying to solve the perceived conflict, when the real issue is something completely different. Having the DISC of these leaders in front of you does help in navigating how they are filtering the conflict!

Monitor impact. As I said, conflict in and of itself is not bad, it can create good growth, but it is important to be mindful that conflict doesn’t begin to harm the unity of the team!! When individuals begin to attack each other personally, act in anger, or distract from team progress, it’s time for the leader to interfere. You just have to step up and help bring a resolve,the clients we are serving deserve this!!

Vision. Ultimately, my job as a coach, is to maintain the integrity of the vision.  To help leaders finish well!! Conflict can enhance or interfere with attaining the vision. My job is to continually help the team to keep the big picture in mind!!

Don’t be afraid of conflict on a team. Good leaders learn to manage it for the overall good of the team.

Leader, how do you manage conflict on your team?

Be willing to address and engage when team members could be a great opportunity to stretch and grow!! It could be……………

Being Family!

It’s shocking but true, Family members don’t always get along!


One of the most difficult matters to confront with respect to challenging family relationships is that we don’t control the entire relationship ourselves. Whether the relationship thrives or withers isn’t up to us alone. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. So often, family members get stuck. Despite our best intentions, we can become stubborn and defensive with one another.

When major family relationship problems are encountered, it’s common to attempt a control strategy. We try to get the other person to change, to understand the situation from our point of view.  Sometimes this approach can work if we are compelling and sincere enough.  But many times it just leads to frustration.  A second strategy might be to simply accept the other person, difficulties and all, just as they are! Yet, this could also result in frustration, as there may not be any true resolve within our hearts.

There is, however, a third alternative for those times when changing the other person & accepting the other person as-is are both unfruitful. That option is to change us in order to solve the problem. This requires that we redefine the problem as an internal one instead of an external one; meaning that I must change my attitude and filter in order to understand my family member and their point of view.

As long as we keep looking outside ourselves for the answers, we may continually find ourselves frustrated by our family members choices or decisions; always finding conflict with OUR personal values and choices. Once we start looking inside ourselves for the problem, we might find it easier to bring resolution. This does not imply “agreement”, simply relational resolution.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a close family that is genuinely supportive of the person you are, that’s wonderful, and in that situation, you’ll likely find the closeness of your family to be a tremendous source of strength to you! However, in many families, not all members are close or in agreement as to how life should be lived; thus conflict can occur, values differences cause hurt.

So, if we find ourselves in a family where some of the members are experiencing distance or challenge, it may feel impossible to be conflict-free. However, if we keep an open mind and a forgiving spirit we will keep the count of offenses lower; which will ultimately help in keeping family peace.

One way of experiencing “Family” in a fresh way is to give ourselves the freedom to re-define family to include those with whom we share our lives; kindred relationships that often times feel closer than our natural born families.  To nurture these relationships and invite them into the gaps that have been left vacant by our natural born family members who have chosen to remain distant, can be incredibly sweet and ultimately, rewarding.


My point is simply this: Life is short.  We are born into families and it is our responsibility to navigate them as best, as kindly, as honestly as we can. If we find that after all is said and done we cannot call those family relationships “close”…invite trusted, caring friends into your “family circle” and share your life richly with them.

As I said in my first paragraph:  “Whether the relationship thrives or withers isn’t up to us alone. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.”  Do you feel connected to family? Have you sought understanding and clarity? Do you have others who love and care for you that have “become” family to you?  Life is short, family matters!