<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1811841295736540&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Create Opportunity by Leading Through Conflict

Post by Jerry Baker on May 13, 2015

If you are in busi­ness, then it’s a guar­an­tee that you will encounter dif­fi­cul­ties or tough times. Stuff hap­pens that is unplanned and unex­pected. Some chal­lenges are big. Some start out small, and quickly esca­late. Some chal­lenges can be of our own mak­ing, and some may be the result of exter­nal changes.

In many ways, suc­cess in busi­ness is about learn­ing to man­age through the dif­fi­cult times. When tough times come along, we need to focus our energy on what we can directly impact, and learn to cope with the obsta­cles we can’t change. Many of our chal­lenges relate to man­ag­ing peo­ple. We must direct and lead our teams to over­come the obsta­cles we face.

Deal­ing With What Can Be Changed

How do we deal with the obsta­cles that get in the way of achiev­ing our goals and ambitions? There are issues we can influ­ence and impact, and those we can’t. It’s impor­tant that we learn to quickly dis­tin­guish between the two, and then con­front the ones we can impact.

Per­for­mance issues may be improved through bet­ter train­ing. Strate­gic issues may be solved by set­ting aside a day to exam­ine your long-term strat­egy. Oper­at­ing issues may be resolved through stream­lin­ing or upgrad­ing cur­rent processes. When issues arise in areas that are within our con­trol, they need our focus sooner than later. The longer we take to address prob­lems, the big­ger they become. Action is crit­i­cal for the types of issues that we can resolve. Those actions need to be spe­cific with a clear plan for account­abil­ity. Of course, not all issues are within our control.

Han­dling What Can’t Be Changed

There will always be exter­nal forces that impact our busi­ness results. Gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions may change, finan­cial mar­kets may slide, and com­peti­tors may act in unpre­dictable ways. It doesn’t pay to waste time and energy on issues that you have no hope of influ­enc­ing. There are times when we need to learn to cope with and man­age through our circumstances. When your envi­ron­ment alters, you can choose your response. Changes may be nec­es­sary, but they may not. Eval­u­ate each chal­lenge care­fully. Don’t be too quick to tear down what you have spent a long time building.

Lead­ing Through Tough Times

When times get tough, lead­ers need to be out in front, help­ing to con­front the chal­lenges. When action is required to improve per­for­mance, it needs to be clearly com­mu­ni­cated. You’ll never get where you need to be unless employ­ees and man­agers are all pulling in the same direction. Invite them to par­tic­i­pate in address­ing per­for­mance issues as well as exter­nal chal­lenges. Then, make sure to keep every­one informed of progress as changes are made.

Clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion is crit­i­cal, espe­cially in times where fear is preva­lent. Don’t be afraid to dis­cuss what isn’t work­ing and what needs to be done. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is also needed when there are chal­lenges beyond your con­trol, and the best deci­sion is to NOT take action. Your peo­ple need to under­stand why. Your silence may lead them to believe that you are blind to the problems. Tough times can also cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties. Lead­ers can make a big dif­fer­ence by keep­ing the team focused on tak­ing advan­tage of those opportunities./

No busi­ness is immune to chal­lenges. But if you can lead your team safely through the tough times, you’ll emerge strong and ready to take full advan­tage when the good times return.

Want to schedule time with a coach?

Contact Us!

Jerry Baker

Jerry Baker

Jerry Baker joined Building Champions as a CEO Mentor in 2009. He has experienced the impact of coaching firsthand as a client and corporate partner of Building Champions. He most recently served as CEO, President and member of the Board of Directors of First Horizon National Corporation and First Tennessee Bank.

Find Your Business Coach and Transform the Way You Lead