Executive Coaching

Conflict Is Not A Dirty Word

Conflict is a word that people want to avoid. Most managers and CEO ask me not to use the term conflict when talking with their team, instead opting for "issues", "miscommunications", and my favorite "areas of improvement". This course  of action does a disservice to your staff's intelligence. In this day in age, it is more important than ever to be open genuine and open about what is happening in the office.  Managers who cannot deal with terms such as conflict are likened to parents who awkwardly stumble through "The Talk" to their kids. 

Conflict is not a dirty word; it is, however, a vital part of communication. I often tell people, if you're one of those couples who say, "Oh we never fight", that means someone has given up in the relationship. The art of a healthy relationship or organization isn't peace, but using conflict and constructive disagreement to form better decisions and opinions.  Fear of conflict shows signs of mistrust, and a poor company culture. 

I would recommend that managers, get past the fear conflict and embrace the productive and financial benefits of a constructive feedback loop inside your company.  If you're having issues with conflict inside your office setting, feel free to reach out. I would enjoy the opportunity to help you have better a communication system. 

Career Killing Words Part 1: BUT

In my experience of coaching executives and managers, I’ve noticed a language that separates the great leaders from the average leaders. Here is a list of words that you should eliminate from your vocabulary if you want to be a truly effective leader.

But: The word “but” is the Great Discredit-ter.  Anytime you use the word “but” you automatically discredit everything you said leading up to that word. A trick that I read was instead of using the word “but” use the word “and” here’s an example

BAD: "Tom, I appreciate the hard work you’ve been doing lately. All your projects have turned out really great but, I have some changes I want you to think about."

Better: "Tom, I appreciate the hard work you’ve been doing lately. All your projects have turned out really great and, I have some changes I want you to think about."

Using the word “and” doesn’t discount the good that the employee has done, however, it does make it easier to segue into a new conversation about change. Do not tag-on to a compliment with a "but" that will automatically have the person you are speaking with become defensive. Instead, make you compliment complete and genuine and then more one to the other items that you need to address with that person.