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How to transform workplace conflict into growth

One of my clients is under investigation.

Someone in his department filed a harassment claim against him with their Human Resources Department.

I was very surprised to hear this news.

This client, let’s call him Charles, is very hard-working, driven, innovative and strategic. I find our interactions to be very pleasant.

I recently found out that the harassment claim was largely because Charles doesn’t listen.

While this employee’s claims could have been handled one-on-one with Charles directly, she did not feel comfortable giving this feedback to a “superior” as she calls him.

So, now he is embroiled in a very stressful situation.

This leads me to the critical importance of self-awareness.

As a leader, you have to know the following:

  • Your strengths
  • Your weaknesses
  • The impact that your behaviour has on the people around you

Understanding these aspects of yourself is not only critical for you to create a positive team culture, they can also mitigate potential conflict with others.

For example, Charles is now acutely aware that his passion, enthusiasm and drive for action (strengths) can sometimes be seen as “aggressive” or “bulldozing” others without listening (weaknesses).

Ironically, Charles has always been rewarded in his career for his passion, drive and enthusiasm. In fact, he was recently promoted to a very senior role based on these leadership qualities.

Charles is a good guy.

He means no harm to anyone.

He was just lacking in self-awareness.

I wish he could have learned these life lessons in a less stressful way.

But now Charles is VERY clear on both the upside of his strengths and the downside of his weaknesses.

I am working with him to learn how to minimize his weaknesses.

We all have strengths and weaknesses.

Please learn from this situation and become intimately aware of yours!

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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