Confrontation is not something people find easy. Yet from a leadership perspective, it is a critical ingredient in influencing other people and ultimately the culture of your business.
Finding the right approach, the right words at the right time is crucial. Or to use a golfing analogy, developing the skill of knowing which club to use. (I’m definitely still polishing that craft in my game!)
People skilled at confrontation have a great variety of approaches and words. And they know when and how to use the appropriate one.
Defining “Above The Line” & “Below The Line Behaviours”
Having an agreed set of behaviours as a team is a proven valuable approach. One of my clients for the past 12 years calls me every 2 years to update their “above the line” and “below the line” behaviours.
“Above the line” behaviours encourage positive interactions and engagement; and they build an inclusive productive culture. “Below the line” behaviours build the opposite: a toxic culture, where good people will move on and “deadwood’ will stick around.
During a session on desired behaviours, the team has a robust conversation on what statements remain and those that are no longer relevant. Then, ALL team members sign off on the final list.
Whenever there is conflict, the manager pulls out that person’s signed ‘Above the line/Below the line’ document. This makes his job much easier. In fact I believe this process leads to people feeling safer in their work environment. It creates clarity around what is safe and what is unsafe.
Because that team member contributed to setting the boundaries of behaviour, when the ‘line’ is crossed there is little argument about who was at fault, and thus who needs to right any wrongs.
It s not surprising that his team is the most respected in that organisation.
The Culture Code
Daniel Coyle’s book “The Culture Code” highlights the impact of building such a culture.
In Coyle’s words,
A safe work culture creates an environment in which team members feel like valued members of the organisation. No one wants to feel like they’re not appreciated.
Safety in the workplace lets team members feel like they belong in the group, are connected to other members of the organisation, and are comfortable in their position.
Your Next Move Towards Better Confrontations
Are you looking to encourage behaviours that build positive interactions, engagement and an inclusive productive culture? If so, let’s talk. give me a call (0402 300999)