Category: Executive Coaching

Dealing with conflict is part of life. Even the best organizations deal with internal conflict on a regular basis. Conflict isn’t a black and white issue. There are different degrees and levels of conflict. Conflict at a low intensity may just be a simple disagreement. But high intensity conflict can result in teams that have low levels of trust or even organizations that completely fall apart because of internal pressures. Conflict is inevitable. It is how you and your team handles that conflict that matters. Let’s take a look at how you can improve your conflict resolution strategies.

Work Place Conflict

Even The Best Teams Deal With Internal Conflict

It is important to understand that it is impossible to eliminate conflict. If you come into this process thinking that you can completely eliminate all conflict within your team, you are going to micromanage your employees and probably make things worse. You aren’t going to stop your team members from having disagreements or approaching a problem from a different way of

thinking. You want your team members to remain creative and bring their unique talents to the table so that they can perform in their role. Sometimes that causes friction, but that is why it is important to have a process for how you handle conflict.

Create An Official Process For How You Deal With Team Conflict

A great way to minimize conflict and help to resolve internal problems is through structure. Teams that do not have a structure can sometimes fall into chaos. You want to have an official process for how you deal with conflict and how you handle these types of issues between team members. Perhaps you’ll have each team member meet with you individually to assess the extent of the problem. Maybe you’ll interview other team members as well, to get their point of view. If you are a bigger organization, perhaps your Human Resources Department may get involved. Either way, you want to have an official process that you can use in all conflict related situations. This way, the process is transparent and everyone knows what to expect. This increases trust in your leadership and in the conflict resolution process.

Happy Team

Remember That Each Team Member Is Unique

When you go too far in trying to eliminate conflict within teams, you can squash internal creativity. You don’t want all of your team members to think or act in exactly the same way. You want them to work together and maximize their abilities. Make sure that your conflict resolution process doesn’t come at the expense of individual creativity.

Conflict resolution is important for every team. Too much conflict can impede a team’s ability to perform. Make sure that your conflict resolution process is transparent and that everyone knows what to expect. You want to be fair with your team members so that this process builds trust instead of reducing it. A good conflict resolution strategy will improve your team’s effectiveness over time.

Most team members want the same thing from their leader: authentic communication. Have you ever been working on a project and been blinded by an omission made by management? Or perhaps you’ve dealt with a sudden change in instructions or expectations. Maybe you’ve had to work on a project where the expectations were not clear and you weren’t even totally sure what you needed to be doing. If you want your team to perform to the best of their ability, you need to prioritize communication from a leadership standpoint. You need to be as open, honest, and authentic as possible to build trust and generate buy-in.

Authentic Team Communication

Everyone Wants An Honest Boss

At the end of the day, nobody wants a boss that they don’t know if they can trust. Sometimes, what causes a lack of trust isn’t a lie, but an omission. If you aren’t being fully honest with your team about what you expect from them or if you are leaving out certain project details, you could harm the trust that your team has in you. Which brings us to the next point:

When Communication Breaks Down, Trust Is Lost

When your team isn’t communicating, internally or with leadership, that causes a lack of trust. If you aren’t getting regular updates from the team, that could lead to a lack of trust in your team members. And if your team members can’t get a line of communication with you, they are going to have a difficult time finishing projects successfully. Make sure that you have multiple lines of communication open and that you don’t neglect to meet with your team on a regular basis.

Making Sure Your Team Communicates Effectively

Making sure that your team members can communicate with leadership is key. But you also want to focus on internal communication. Your team members need to be able to communicate with each other. This is more important than ever, since more organizations are making the shift to working with remote employees who may be halfway across the globe. Make sure that your team communicates through multiple channels (such as via email and by a work communication app like Slack) and has regular meetings, preferably at least twice per month. Regular communication ensures that your team members know exactly what to expect from their co-workers.

Strong Team

If you prioritize being an authentic communicator, your tenure as a leader is much more likely to see success. When your team members feel that they can’t communicate with you, or that you aren’t being honest, they are much more likely to be distrustful of management. And when there is a lack of trust in leadership, team members tend not to work as hard, and teams can fall into dysfunction. Promoting strong communication within teams and with leadership starts at the top. You have to make sure that all of your team members are comfortable communicating with you, knowing that you will address any of their concerns.

Sharing your company’s long-term vision with its employees is key to creating a positive work environment and developing a strong culture. If your employees don’t understand your long-term vision, they might find it difficult to find themselves working for you for the long-haul. They might find it hard to envision where they fit in. But when you have a solid level of transparency, that builds trust with your employees, and trust is correlated with success in the workplace. Let’s talk more about why you should share your company vision with your employees.

Company Vision Sharing With Employees

You Want Your Employees To Buy-In

When your employees don’t buy-in, they aren’t going to give their best effort. And when effort isn’t being given, your customers aren’t getting the quality that they deserve. Employees are more likely to buy-in when they feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Sharing your company’s long-term vision can help your employees to understand the goals that you are trying to achieve, and how they fit in with those goals.

The Best Work Relationships Are Built On Trust

Think about some of the best working relationships you’ve heard about in business magazines. The word “trust” almost always comes up. You never hear about a great partnership where trust is lacking. That is why you need to prioritize trust with your employees as well. Your employees deserve to know more about your company, since they are investing their time and effort on a daily basis with you. When you share information about where you see the business going and the rationale behind certain decisions, you are going to build trust with your employees. And employees that trust you are going to work harder for you.

A Lack In Transparency Can Derail Your Efforts

When work relationships go bad, a lack of transparency is usually the culprit. If your employees feel as if they can’t get information from management, they are likely to get frustrated. They may even check out mentally, especially if they start feeling as if they shouldn’t be invested. Don’t let a lack of transparency fester. You may not always be able to tell your employees all of the critical information about certain deals immediately. But that doesn’t mean that they should be left in the dark forever. Make sure you update your employees on business happenings on a regular basis.

Company Meeting

When you aren’t transparent with your employees, your company relationships can break down. Your employees may be less likely to trust their managers, and they may feel that the decisions being made by management are arbitrary. When you share your company’s long-term vision, your employees have a better idea of why certain decisions are being made. You don’t have to share every detail of your company with your employees–but they should have a good idea of the mission behind the business and where you want to go in the future. That may mean sharing expansion details or talking more about new partnerships.

Listening is key to success, whether in your personal relationships or at work. But oftentimes it is easy to voice more of our own opinions and talk over others. It is also relatively easy to ignore what others are saying because we have assumptions that we don’t want to challenge. Listening to others seems like it should be something that should be simple. But sometimes we can listen to other people without truly hearing what they are saying. By learning to become a better listener, you will become more empathetic and compassionate. And people with empathy and compassion turn out to be the best leaders, those who are most able to motivate their employees and get the most out of their abilities. Here’s how you can become a better listener and in turn, become a better leader.

Woman Listening

Being Respectful Is Critical

We all want to be respected. How would you feel if when you spoke about the project you had spent so much time on in a meeting, everyone ignored you? You probably wouldn’t feel too good about that, and those negative emotions could then lead you to ignore others as well. Negative emotions can lead to more negativity, while respectfulness tends to lead to respectfulness in return. Whether you are in a meeting for work or on a date, make sure that you are actually taking the time to be respectful and listen to the person on the other side. That means body language too—no slouching, looking at your phone, or looking away. Look at the person who is talking and nod in affirmation to let them know you are truly listening.

Don’t Talk More Than You Listen

Talking more than you listen or talking over others is a clear, easy way to signal that you aren’t really hearing the other person. In order to master the art of listening, you need to know when to be silent and when to speak up. You shouldn’t be totally silent—but you should let other people speak and voice their opinions without interrupting them, even if they are speaking about an issue that you might disagree with them on. This is quite difficult for some people, and definitely takes a level of self-control. But this is a key part of being a good listener, and you’ll find that others reciprocate once they are done talking.

Man Listening

Be Willing To Let Go Of Your Assumptions

This one is very important. We all have some level of bias or pre-conceived notions about a given person or situation. Those often cloud our judgement when we listen to them. Being a good listener means throwing out those assumptions and instead giving them a clean slate, listening to what they are actually saying in the moment. This helps to give you a better idea of what is objectively being said. And it also lets the speaker know that you aren’t judging them based on your own biases. Letting go of assumptions is never easy, but in the long run it is tremendously beneficial to both sides.

* Both images credit goes to: rawpixel.

Developing a personal leadership style is crucial to having lasting success as a leader. Leading executives across the world are all working in different circumstances, and the ones that are having success know that there isn’t a one size fits all style of leadership. Executives need to consider their particular industry, the personalities of their employees, their own personalities, and a myriad of other factors in order to figure out their optimal leadership style. Here are some ways that I work with executives in order to help them develop a sustainable leadership style for their businesses.

Develop Your Personal Leadership Characteristics

5 Ways To Develop Your Personal Leadership Style

1. Don’t Go Against Your Personality

This is important. If you are a relatively silent person, people aren’t going to respond well if all of a sudden you start barking orders. It won’t seem natural. It will feel forced. You can grow naturally into becoming more of a vocal leader, but that comes with getting to know your employees and co-workers and figuring out what they respond to. Executives need to make sure that their leadership style fits their personality for optimal results.

2. Think About Where You Work

Your given industry might call for a particular style of leadership. Leadership at a tech firm might look different than leadership at a retail firm. What are your company’s goals? How can you enhance your employees and give them the tools that they need to reach those goals?

3. What Are Your Career Goals?

If you are looking for a promotion, there might be certain leadership characteristics that your superiors are looking for. Executives should have honest and open discussions with their bosses to figure out if there are certain goals that need to be met or leadership skills that need to be developed before a promotion can be discussed.

4. How Can You Maximize Your Co-Workers?

Too often, people see leadership as simply directing others with vocal commands and emails. But effective leadership is much more than that. It is getting to know your co-workers and employees on a personal level so that you can determine what will bring the best out of them. It is putting them in a position to succeed so that their efforts can maximize the company. Learning how to make your employees better should be the goal of every leader.

How To Maximize Your Co-workers

5. Make Sure You Can Adapt

The thing about the business world is that things are constantly changing. With the introduction of digital technology, information is being shared 24 hours a day and entire industries are changing overnight. A major challenge for any executive is learning how to adapt and change along with the business climate. Rapid change in the industry might mean executives need to reconsider their style of leadership.

Everybody has heard the question—where do you envision yourself five years from now? For many people, five years is such a large period of time that the answers are usually vague and intangible, ultimately not helping either side. But what if I asked you where you envision yourself in only one year’s time? Most executives have a pretty solid idea of where they will be next year, whether it is with the same company in a larger role, migrating to a new company, or even starting a business or a new career. Although every executive has a different role, the one constant is a strong level of leadership is necessary for sustained success.

Challenges Associated with Changes


As an executive coach, I work with executives in a variety of different industries on improving their leadership skills and maximizing their efficiency in challenging roles. Because executive roles can often be all encompassing, it can be difficult to see some of the issues that can hold you back from success. Executives in new roles often face more pressure for results while seemingly receiving less guidance. Growing into a role is about finding balance and establishing a rapport with a team that trusts your leadership.

When I ask an executive where they’ll be a year from now, I’m trying to figure out how I can help to remove some of the problems that get in the way of sustained success. Many executives recognize that there are issues that are hindering their success, but aren’t sure where those problems actually originate.

Some of the problems that executives run into include:

Controlling emotions
Difficulty learning from past mistakes
Utilizing patience
Recognizing self-limiting behaviors or beliefs
Prioritizing self
Building trust and relationships in new roles

Why You should hire Executive Coaches

Executive coaches help to build strong personal foundations so that executives can start to recognize and solve the sources of their problems. Building a personal foundation is also important because employees tend to trust leaders with a belief and comfort in their own abilities. Strong executives know that recognizing and fixing
problems is a constant part of the job, and it is key to growing with your team and maximizing their potential.

Challenges Associated

You might not be able to say for certain everything that you will accomplish in the next year, but you can control how much you grow while in pursuit of your goals. I’m looking forward to helping many of you remove the hindrances in your executive role so that it is easier to reach your goals and find success. The growth process—into a better leader and more comfortable executive—is one that you control, and I’m happy to help executives just like yourself find balance and improvement.

Regina Fasold, PCC
Executive Coach

Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.