Today on Team Anywhere, we interview Dr. Liane Davey, to learn how to master
Known as the Water Cooler Psychologist, Liane is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and frequently called on by media outlets for her experience on leadership, team effectiveness, and productivity.
As a conflict-avoider herself, (well she is Canadian,) she has dedicated her life to helping individuals and teams master conflict.
Liane is a New York Times Bestselling author of three books, including The Good Fight: Use Productive Conflict to Get Your Team and Your Organization Back on Track.
Liane shares a family camping story which provided her with a team building solution that we can all use to master conflict remotely.
The tarp exercise to master team conflict:
(1) Have each team member ask, “what the unique value of your role?”
(2) What stakeholders does your role represent?
(3) What is your obligation to disagree?
By sharing each person’s point of view you move from, ”Oh, I thought you were just a jerk,” to appreciating what is behind the position for which each person is advocating. You also get to a great point where people on the team expect and ask for each person’s point of view.
One of the keys to productive conflict in 2020, is to not let anything fester. Don’t
wait until we are all back together in a room in 2021. If you do, your conversations will be through the lens of how you feel you have been “wronged.”
You then begin to build up “Conflict Debt.” Letting things fester is going to add to
your stress, or as Nelson Mandela said, “Resentment is like swallowing poison and
expecting the other person to die.”
The best way to enter into conflict remotely is to:
(1) CREATE NO SURPRISES - Shoot a quick note to the other person to let them know you want to have a conversation about something on your mind.
Give them time to prepare for the conversation. “I’m uncomfortable with how we left the conversation last week, I’d love a chance to talk face-to- face virtually.”
(2) GET THEIR TRUTH FIRST – Ask your colleague, what is their impression of the discrepancy at hand. “So, how did you feel about that conversation?”
(3) ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR TRUTH – You earn your right to speak your truth ONLY after they have spoken theirs. “This is what I heard you say. I’m really glad that you shared that with me.”
(4) SHARE YOUR TRUTH – Share your observation of the conversation. “I was thinking differently about what happened.”
(5) ASK FOR A PATH FORWARD – Be curious, and look for a common way forward. “Okay, where do we go from here?”
One of the advantages we have with distance is that when something happens that are confused about, we can use that distance to be curious. “You know, we are/were not in the same room, I don’t think I fully understand, let’s kind of figure this out.
One of the reasons why we might be having more conflict these days is that meetings have become joyless.
It is time to put joy back in!!!
Why not bring a live elephant into your meeting?
Why not spend the first 5 minutes just catching up?
The greatest way to deflate conflict is to keep spending quality time being human with each other.
For resources to learn more about Dr. Liane Davey:
Liane Davey’s Website
The Good Fight: Use Productive Conflict to Get Your Team and Your Organization
Back on Track
How to Manage Conflict in Virtual Team YouTube Video