Within the corporate structure, people who are fighting do not restrict themselves to the issues at hand. Instead, fighting often gets personal. Emotional issues hijack the conversation and hinder progress; people get caught up in personal frictions that escalate the debate.
Conflict is disagreement. People believe that it can only be solved by one faction winning the argument. However, true conflict management involves two or more opposing positions that are quelled without losers and winners
A glimpse of why Functional Conflict is actually important, straight from our training session for middle management
Traditional business leaders feel threatened by a more personal approach to conflict defusion and problem solving. New leaders embrace this approach through several steps:
Conflict can be mitigated by seeing it not as a personal affront but as antagonists playing their roles with benign intent. Bringing people face to face in the same room to build trust is the responsibility of a leader.
This helps to identify and decrease destructive behavior while spurring productivity.
We helped this energetic and keen team to work on their conflicts and adopt the best practices for conflict resolution, through our training session
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THE BEST IDEATION TECHNIQUES When planning an ideation session, facilitators want to use a variety of techniques to leverage the different personalities and expertise of the participants. The “Super Seven” ideation methods presented by Mattimore are easy to learn and teach to a group, customizable for different creative challenges, and different enough to appeal to diverse thinking styles:
1. Questioning assumptions. Facilitators ask participants to list 20 to 30 assumptions that they might be making about the challenge, such as who the target market is and what the preferred price point is.Facilitators then select several of the assumptions and use them as triggers for new ideas.
2. Opportunity Redefinition. Facilitators begin by presenting an opportunity statement or creative challenge. They then ask participants to pick three words from the statement and make a list of alternatives or expansions for each of the words. They then mix and match the results into statements that might spark more ideas. This technique helps the group move beyond the limitations of specific words by substituting new words.
3. Wishing. Facilitators begin by asking participants to make an impossible wish. After listing all the wishes aloud, participants select a few and use them as prompts to generate realistic ideas that could be brought to fruition.
4. Triggered brainwalking. Facilitators pair brainwalking with another technique, such as a visual prompt or wishing, to focus the ideas.
5. Semantic intuition. This technique essentially creates a descriptor name for a new idea before the idea even exists. Participants generate lists of words in three categories related to the creative challenge, and then randomly combine them into phrases that can help generate ideas to solve the challenge. 6. Picture prompts. The facilitator passes out visuals that were selected in advance and asks participants to look at the images to see if they inspire any ideas. Most of the visuals should be related to the kind of challenge being addressed–food items when the challenge is to create a new snack product, for instance–but a few random visuals should be included in the mix as wild cards.
7. Worst idea. It seems odd to ask people for bad, silly, stupid, or possibly illegal ideas, but this exercise will wake up the room and generate some fun. Once the bad ideas have been listed, the group goes through the list to find ways to turn them into workable ideas by doing the opposite or making them positive somehow. You can write to me for more in-depth insights at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leadership balances the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral dimensions of a personality. In some leaders one dimension predominates, while others exhibit a balance of two or three dimensions. The CQ of a team or an entire organization is a compilation of the individual CQs of its members. Groups function better if they understand their CQs both quantitatively and qualitatively. INTRODUCTION:WHAT IS CHANGE INTELLIGENCE? Thousands of hours of research and hundreds of books published on the subject of organizational change have failed to improve the success rate for major change programs. Whether a corporate restructure, a merger, a new product launch, or other program that demands rethinking and reworking, the success rate still falls below 30 percent. To improve this woeful statistic, leaders need to better understand how they approach change themselves. The Change Intelligence (CQ) system provides a tool for self-assessment. Using it, a leader can find out how they balance the “Heart, Head, and Hands” components: * Leaders who lead from the Heart connect with people emotionally * Leaders who lead from the Head connect with people cognitively. * Leaders who lead from the Hands connect with people behaviorally. No one type is ideal, but all leaders can succeed once they understand themselves clearly. People perceive change as a threat, something to be feared, not unlike death. The phases of human reaction to change are:
CQ AND THE LIFECYCLE OF CHANGE
Change happens in three stages: planning, doing, and sustaining
. At the planning stage, Heart-oriented leaders
should compensate for their tendencies by putting robust project planning methods in place. Head-oriented leaders
need to make the effort to involve stakeholders and all facets of leadership in planning for change. Hands leaders also need to be mindful of stakeholders and aligning interests for change.At the “doing”
stage, each leadership type can institute procedures to overcome their weaknesses. The Heart-oriented leader can use implementation checklists while the Head-oriented leader institutes a formal feedback process. To keep stakeholders and goals on their agendas, Hands-oriented leaders should use readiness and impact assessments with stakeholders. The same rules apply at the sustaining stage. Specific assessment, facilitation, or measurement tools can bridge any gaps in a leadership style. KEY CONCEPTS
* Change succeeds only in about a third of cases because, despite an enormous amount of work on change management, change leaders do not understand their leadership styles. Once a leader understands their “Change Intelligence” (CQ), or style of leadership, they can use the appropriate tools to manage change. * Leadership balances the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral dimensions of a personality. In some leaders one dimension predominates, while others exhibit a balance of two or three dimensions. Any style can be effective with a clear self-assessment and the right tools. * The Coach leads from the heart, connecting with people emotionally, thereby ensuring deep commitment to change. Although this affective style is fundamental to any successful change, it is not sufficient. Coaches need to be sure that they do not let consensus building and a distaste for conflict prevent them from moving forward. Both Champions and Facilitators
share the Coach’s high “Heart” score but also lead through cognitive and behavioral dimensions, respectively. * The CQ of a team or an entire organization is a compilation of the individual CQs of its members. Groups function better if they understand their CQs both quantitatively and qualitatively.
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By and large, extraordinary groups promote shared leadership. Group members become leaders by taking the initiative, offering ideas, and proposing actions, and they ultimately feel responsible for the outcomes of the group.
In extraordinary groups, leaders encourage all members to be engaged and act as leaders, too.
Extraordinary group leaders are more often facilitative than directive. The goal of a facilitative leader is to provide the group with the direction it needs, not to do all the directing. The facilitative leader believes the group must share accountability, participation, responsibility, and power. To create an extraordinary group experience, a leader should:
- Frame an inspiring Purpose — A leader needs to help group members discover their personal connection to the group and help them think about why the group’s Purpose is important.
- Lead with a light touch — Extraordinary groups should be led with a light touch, not with rigid control, micro-management, or tightly structured boundaries. Using a low-key style and opening up the group’s structure and process encourages the involvement of others. A leader should focus on the desired outcomes and use a minimum of control.
- Keep issues discussable — A leader needs to create a safe place for people to express and embrace their differences. Members’ opinions should be heard and alternatives should be raised; managers should encourage authentic-but-uncomfortable conversation. Keeping potentially contentious issues out in the open reinforces the value of seeing the whole.
- Manage the world around their group — Group members should be free of external issues that can distract or discourage them. As such, an effective leader will act as a buffer between the larger organization and the group, shielding it from politics and outside forces. The leader should also think about how best to represent the group to the outside world.
- Put the right team together — A leader should try to bring the right people together, making it a point to understand why each member joined the group. Members need to be willing to sacrifice self-interest and demonstrate their commitment to the group’s Purpose. If a member repeatedly conflicts with the group’s Purpose, it may be necessary to help that individual leave the group; individuals who repeatedly cause conflict with the group will throw the group off track. The leader is responsible for confronting the disruptive member about leaving the group.
- Design and facilitate meetings with the Group Needs in mind — When facilitating group meetings, Group Needs must be put first. A leader should ask himself or herself how the meeting will meet the needs of Acceptance and Potential, Bond and Purpose, and Reality and Impact. While it is not necessary for every meeting to address each of the six Group Needs, the leader should strive to touch each of these needs over time. Meetings should be led in a facilitative style, using more questions than statements and offering observations instead of judgments.
When nurtured properly, small groups have the potential to achieve extraordinary results; they solve complex problems, uncover unexpected opportunities, and surpass early expectations.
When group members, leaders and facilitators to strive to meet the six Group Needs — Acceptance and Potential, Bond and Purpose, and Reality and Impact — transformative, “magical” experiences are much more likely to occur, leaving members changed, energized, connected, and hopeful.