When author and team expert Liane Davey shows up for a conversation, you know it’s going to jammed with great stories, 100% straight talk and really actionable strategies. I loved our talk about conflict, culture, crisis leadership and why you need to be flossing regularly. Intrigued? Check out my top 3 takeaways below, or watch the replay here.
1.) No, You’re Not a Therapist
One of the overwhelming challenges many leaders are facing right now is the emotional toll that the pandemic is having on themselves and their teams. It’s left many people asking “do I need to be a therapist for my team?”. The answer is a resounding NO but what you do need to do (listen up all you results-oriented hard drivers) is create a container for people to share and release their emotions. Ploughing through your task lists and not acknowledging the emotional weight that people are carrying right now is going to backfire. We are seeing people starting to opt out, burnout and crash. Carve out space to “just” talk about how people are feeling. Releasing the emotional pressure valve is a critical leadership requirement these days.
2.) Reduce Conflict Debt by Flossing
Many teams felt a great sense of connection in the early days of the pandemic. A crisis tends to do that. Everyone pulls together and gets shit done. Once that adrenalin rush wears off, we fall back into our regularly scheduled patterns but with the challenge of a layer of social distancing and global pandemic uncertainty thrown in. If we’re not careful, small conflicts begin to build up as conversations become more transactional and face-to-face communication gets replaced with Zoom calls, emails and text missives. Left unchecked, the “conflict debt” that gets built up strains relationships and causes —you guessed it— even more conflict. So, what’s the antidote? Proactively hold regular conversations around potential tension points between yourself and others and within your team. Rather than making conflict a painful root canal that can’t be avoided, regular “conflict flossing” heads off major problems before they develop.
3.) Ruthless Prioritization is Your New Best Friend
Prioritize, prioritize and then prioritize again. HP founder David Packard is quoted as saying “most organizations will die of indigestion not starvation.” If there was ever a time to start cutting back on what you’re feeding your team in terms of priorities, this is the time. And, according to Liane, one of the best places to start is with your meetings. Get ruthless about challenging what meetings you need to have, who needs to be involved and how long they need to be. Consider providing a meeting primer in advance of meetings to focus people on where you want input/need decisions/require advice in order to maximize efficiency and people’s contributions. And one more tip: be sure to unbuckle your operations meetings from your strategy meetings. Neuroscience shows that our brains don’t switch effectively from one to the other so get intentional about your meeting focus and what you need to accomplish in each one. Chances are you’re spending too much time in operations and not enough time in long term thinking and once you start having that operations conversation, you’ll never get to strategy.
Watch my full conversation to learn why maintaining your company culture isn’t what you need to be worrying about right now plus more juicy thoughts. You can learn more about Liane and her great work by buying The Good Fight and visiting her 3COze website.
Next up, I’ll be talking to Dov Baron, leadership guru and self-proclaimed Dragonist. Come and learn how a near fatal fall changed his life and how you can unleash your inner dragon. Register here.
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PS – Don’t forgot to grab a copy of my new book The Grassroots Leadership Revolution to get tips on managing your career and building a network of support