Leadership on the Line by Martin Linsky—Chapter 5 Review: Orchestrate the Conflict

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Submitted by nilkanto on Wed, 11/06/2014 - 11:55pm

Conflict is quite natural in any kind of group. How one defines, identifies and handles the conflict determines the ability of the person's Leadership quality. It's important for the authoritative figure to orchestrate the conflict and to ensure constructive energy of the group is utilized and destructive potentials neutralized. To do so, this chapter suggests 4 key ideas which can be used by people who are not even in authoritative position but do want to bring change.

Create a holding Environment reminded me of a true story. A well-known electric machinery provider of Bangladesh follows a well maintained hierarchy, so strict that a young man in higher management, can not go to an employees room. The employees have to always address him with respect and no matter what happens the young fellow always has to be in charge. And he has to always do destructive criticism and enforce threat of being fired.

Obedience is valued and innovation is demoralized.

Current profit talks, not the future ones. With this kind of environment, people just avoid conflict and suppress it inside them. And in case of any adaptive change, if the company does not change employee-authority relationship, then it may fail in gaining stability.

It.s important to create an environment that ensures every voice is heard. To create a holding environment, relationships need to be valued, developed and taken care of. When people go through changes they need their higher authority to show them ways in times of crisis. In such cases, one needs to act strong and maintain high energy as both Hennie and Ruud Koedijk did in this chapter.

It.s quite normal that change creates tension. People love and want stability. Up-to a certain level, an organization or community can handle the temperature of a situation or a change.

To implement a change, a heat needs to be created. Otherwise, people won't pay attention because they only look into a situation when it attracts of distresses them. But sometimes this heat can go out of control. And one thing needs to be understood, one can't expect others to take more heat than oneself in a situation. A good example of such in the form of political campaign is illustrated in the book.

Temperature and tension can be raised in 2 ways—to point and focus the condition and to make the people feel the weight of the situation and their responsibility. On the other hand, organizations and companies got a good trend of cooling down situations, they can use those methods. Individuals can use techniques like sharing success, putting technical problems on the menu, breaking down the problems. But the most important thing is, one needs to use the resources at his/her disposal so that the situation can be dealt with.

I was really happy to see the example of twelve angry men in the book. It really shows how to control the heat. I watched this black and white film 2 years back. I really liked it. And now I can remember with the book the instances and of course with a new meaning. Realization—one needs to put oneself on the line so that one can control the heat and can make sure of the progress.

"Leadership addresses emotional as well as conceptual work"-well said. But it needs to be genuine and timely otherwise it can backfire. Along with controlling the temperature, one needs to keep in mind the duration. With appropriate time and controlling, desired result can be achieved. One of the effects of controlling the pace of work can be keeping the information which may create moral obligation. But viewing the broader picture, it takes time to get prepared.

The goal needs to be visualized. Or better to say like the book, Show them the future. In case of visions one needs to keep in my mind the aspects, complications and to what extent it's realistic. It is not always possible but if it is, revealing the future can boast things up in case of adaptive changes.

The chapter was interesting and it provided insights that we often dont see.


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