Flat, dull, strained, tenuous.  This is the tone in Cheryl’s voice as she is telling me about the issues she is having with staff – the team turmoils, annoying conflicts and frustrations. “Why can’t people just work together better”, she says with a sigh.  Even though Cheryl was feeling deeply agitated by these issues and the negative impact they are having on team performance her emotional cadence and countenance was markedly dreary and tired.  For a moment it felt like the oxygen had been sucked out of the room, there was that much fatigue and that little hope.  Does this sound familiar?  Can you relate?  How is your energy when thinking or talking about people problems that exist within your team?

A little later on in our conversation Cheryl shared she is taking a vacation soon – she and her partner are off to Ireland for 10 days. I couldn’t help but notice the considerable difference in her energy around this much more pleasant topic. Her tone shifted from drab and worn out to one of piqued interest, animated expression and happy excitement.  It felt like the doom in the previous bit of conversation had lifted and the sun came shining through with jovial anticipation.  Night turned to day and once again all was well in the world.

When sharing about the aggravating problems of people not working well together, I have frequently noticed the palatable lack of energy that leaders display in both there voice and face. This is especially true if the problems that exist have been going on for some time with seemingly no end and no relief.  While this may be a normal response to chronic team conflict it is also a very harmful one in generating any progress to outstanding issues. 

The tougher the problem the more engaged energy we need to tap into to solve it

Of course, it goes without saying, that all of us will feel and express ourselves with more happy vigour regarding events we deem enjoyable – be it an upcoming vacation or sharing about a favourite pastime. Still, it begs a question – what would happen if we approached our annoying people problems with the same kind of enthused effort as we did our preferred activities? Think about it – is there any energy that is more inspired, ‘all in’, passionate or engaged as people watching their team in a playoff game? What if we could harness some of that energy and apply it to the irritating but clearly important problems that need solving? How can we replicate “hobby energy’ in times of turmoil and frustrations?

Engaged leadership is showing energetic intent, tone and effort with team members around successes and difficulties

I believe this is at the heart of what leadership engagement is all about. To approach the daily needs of the team with a positive energized intent. Not only with the matters we find pleasurable and enjoy but also with the ones we find demanding and challenging. And if leaders can’t authentically demonstrate this energetic intent toward their team how can we expect team members to do so toward their work relationships and issues? If leaders are not operating at high levels of engagement – it is not reasonable that employees will either.

If you want to feel less gloom and doom, and feel more encouraged and optimistic toward your team conflict

Enter your name and email and we'll send you our downloadable Conflict Manifesto, so you can jump start a more positive and effective relationship with conflict

Please check your email for your link to our downloadable Conflict Competency Test

Download The Conflict Manifesto

Download The Conflict Manifesto

Enter your name and email and we'll send you our downloadable Conflict Manifesto, so you can jump start a more positive and effective relationship with conflict

Please check your email for your downloadable Conflict Competency Test!

Share This