Choose Your Battles

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FountainBlue’s January 28 Front Line Managers Online meeting on the topic of ‘Choose Your Battles’.  Where there are people, there will be conflict – especially in times of great change, like we’ve all experienced with the pandemic over the past two years.! Below is a compilation of thoughts and ideas from our wise, experienced and engaging panelists.

  • Build relationships of trust which are broad and deep, and which will last for the long-term.
  • Collaborate with internal and external teams to articulate, communicate and align on mission/vision/goals.  
  • Listen deeply with emotional intelligence to understand messages and intentions so you can head off or better manage individual battles.
  • Treat everyone with respect and support, regardless of whether he/she/they will directly work/interact with you currently or in the future. 
  • Give yourself (and others) grace when there are imperfections. Focus on building the tools, communications and processes to improve the quality rather than engaging in battles over imperfections. 
  • Speak to the data and focus on the business objectives rather than making conversations personal. 
  • Be comfortable with ambiguity, and trust your team and partners to collaborate to agilely deliver results, especially when circumstances are difficult and the future is unclear.
  • Work with your teams to be more open to diverse input and perspectives so that conflicts and misunderstandings will more likely lead to innovation rather than leading to battles.
  • Know yourself and your own buttons and tendencies, and manage situations so that you can practice being curious, patient, inquisitive and open-minded, focusing on the facts in the heat of a battle. 
  • Respectfully raise questions when you don’t understand something, or when it appears to contradict vision/goals/objectives. This may be a key to avoiding a much larger battle.  
  • Have a zero tolerance policy when core values or violated, but make sure that an unacceptable communication or action actually occurred before taking action.

The bottom line is that if we each are clear on saying what we think and doing what you say, we will more likely align on the business imperatives and less likely go to battle.


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