January Links – Conflict, Meetings and Pride

Favorite business links from January 2014

Conflict Strategies for Nice People

Dealing with conflict is by far my least favorite thing to do and it’s easily 20% of my daily job. There really isn’t any way to get around it, you can ignore it at your own career peril or you can find the best way for you to deal with it effectively. I tend to stand down, ask for help understanding the issue and then ask for help resolving it – which works well for me but not for everyone. This article has some good tips on avoiding the common mistakes we make that get us into these situations and also how to work your way out of them when you’re stuck in the midst.

Taking Over from an Incompetent Team Leader

I so wish I had read this article back in 2003 when I inherited not one team but three teams that had been completely mismanaged. Without the benefit of these strategies (and my own stubbornness) I turned over 50% of the staff in my first year, gained a lovely reputation as quite the ball buster, and you could have measured our productivity with grade school calculator. Even if you don’t need it now, book mark it for the future.

The Seven Imperatives to Keeping Meetings on Track

I’m just going to list out the points for you – make the purpose clear, control the size, set the right tone, manage ramblers, control tangents, make careful transitions, end the meeting well. Right?! Let’s do ALL of those things, in every meeting, starting now!

Find the Coaching in Criticism

Today, I’ve been on a long ponder about self-esteem and its impact on how we view the world, the feedback we receive and how we reincorporate that into our self-perceptions. Often times it’s easy to forget that the person in front of you may not really mean to criticize you, a lot of that is communication style and not at all their intent. I like to sit with the feedback I get, mull on it and look at it from a detached perspective before I even sort through what I’m going to do with. This article goes a few levels beyond that into some really excellent advice on how to be your own coach.

Keeping Between the Ditches

If you don’t often ponder if you’re career path is aligned with your personal values you should really check this one out. I’ve read more than one study on how burnout and even lack of flow can be found in this really common problem.

The Problem of Pride

One of the key components of Agile is the ability to look beyond your own needs/wants and ask the folks that you lead what they need from you. It’s one of the hardest things to do, challenges your own perceptions, and can take a lot out of you emotionally BUT its unbelievable rewarding to know that you are doing exactly what is needed when it’s needed. Is there anything better?! Pride is absolutely key to succeeding in leadership positions, you wouldn’t get into that spot without out, but learning how to temper that with servant leadership and humility will change your life.

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