Tuesday’s Tips — Managing the Whispers and Side Conversations
Do you have a lot of back-channel conversations? They’re basically water cooler chats that don’t seem to make sense for the bigger vision of the company. They are usually people within the company who are pulling vital team members aside to converse about an upcoming project, etc. because they don’t feel comfortable talking to the boss or leadership team about it.
One of Bill’s CEOs has their team whispering in the shadows trying to figure out what was “the next thing” to get done. They were off to the side and not showing strong direction within the company. The problem? The CEO hated conflict and would do anything to avoid it.
The fix? Bill took time to discuss cultural values, childhood upbringing, and why it was such a pain point for this CEO to bring up the tough conversations. With a little bit of self-awareness and reflection, the CEO recognized some of their blindspots and was able to make the necessary changes to the company.
Conflict style discovery is a helpful exercise for any leader to help better manage the expectations their team might have of them. The tough and honest conversations are hard to do, but it will drastically reduce the side whispers within your company and you can finally get the whole team focused on pulling in the same direction.
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