In business, conflict comes in many forms: a value prop explained to a customer poorly, a customer not being put first, an employee who is a culture ‘detractor’, the list goes on. In a growth-focused business, these types of things happening aren’t a question of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’
As leaders, our job is to constantly search for these situations and confront them immediately. This is where real growth and clarity occur for people on your team — all while giving you as the leader specific examples from which to set company precedents for years to come.
For the employee and the team, this direct feedback is extremely critical because it sets them up for long term success.
Speaking from experience, it is so easy to let some of these seemingly ‘smaller’ tactics get swept under the rug. You justify this in many ways; your never ending ‘to do’ list, wanting to avoid the confrontation, or justifying in your head that you’re too busy with the ”big picture stuff.” For the employee and the team, this direct feedback is extremely critical because it sets them up for long term success, while giving them renewed confidence in their future decision making. This validation can’t be understated.
As leaders, it’s our responsibility to constantly realign the company’s day-to-day execution to the vision. Without confronting the conflict, nothing ever changes. Bad habits get ingrained; causing the conversation with the employee to only become more difficult. With the extreme example waiting until it is time to let that employee go.
“It’s our responsibility to constantly realign the company’s day-to-day execution to the vision”
And worse, a delay in the conversation about what needs to change results in validation for the entire staff in how things should be done and teaches new employees poor practices from the start. All of this is preventable and specifically our fault.
So, run towards conflict and reset precedents as often as you can. Love the difficult conversations and know it is how growth and improvement occur. Not only does your team need these discussions, they want them. You will be amazed at how good you get at them and how positive they truly become. I KNOW your team will be better as a result.