Learn to be quiet enough to hear the sound of the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others.
– Marian Wright Edelman
One of the facts of being a leader is that we have to deal with conflicts – be they between coworkers, between peers, or even with our spouse or other family members. Most of us aren’t exactly thrilled when we’re faced with with a conflict, and a typical response is to clam up or make a hasty decision. Anything to resolve the situation quickly so we can move on to more fun tasks like analyzing the P&L.
Mindful leadership requires a different approach. Respect the other person, or the people with the conflict, by truly listening. Don’t assume you understand the context and their perspectives. As questions to get to the root cause. Display humility, and put yourself in the servant position trying to enable the success of the people and organization. Be authentic by reinforcing your values and principles. Remember that solutions don’t have to be win-lose.
How does that change the outcome? How does it change your natural fear of conflict? How does it change your organization’s propensity to have conflict in the first place? Does conflict even shift from a negative to a positive way to find deeper meaning and better ideas?