Few skills are more important to self-improvement than being able to take a step back and honestly evaluate you. Self-reflection allows you to expose problems early, before they become too painful to ignore.
Unfortunately, honest self-evaluation is one of the hardest skills to master. People tend to be self-serving in their thoughts. For most people, self-reflection involves looking into a mirror, with all the information warped and distorted until it barely resembles reality.
True self-evaluation is challenging, and requires you to be open to “see” your strengths and weaknesses, and to develop a plan of action to develop those areas that are lacking. Preparedness for the hard truth is required. The truth is something not everyone is prepared to accept. However, without acceptance, personal growth cannot occur.
Eight weeks ago, I began a journey of self-evaluation and reflection that would shock the hell out of me. I would come to learn that the view I hold of myself as a leader and business professional, is entirely different from the view others have of me. I would also learn that many of the leadership skills I thought I had mastered, I had not even begun to learn.
Leadership effectiveness is the ultimate goal of any leader; unfortunately, the facts reveal that as a leader, I was less than effective. Owning a propensity to avoid risk, control issues, task vs. relationship focused, and the tendency to play office politics have allowed a less than productive leadership style to prevail.
As I looked at my own reflection of leadership and the many skills I needed to develop, I decided to start with the first three I felt to be most important to my becoming an effective leader; conflict management, feedback, and valuing others.
Conflict is inevitable. Management spends up to a third of their time at work managing, handling, and dealing with conflict. Workers waste just as much time as managers on conflict, making it the number one wasteful use of time in most organizations. Keeping that in mind, quick resolution of conflict with all parties leaving the situation feeling their concerns and issues have been addressed in the resolution is the best way to improve morale, productive time, and overall interpersonal relationships within an organization and minimize future conflicts.
To resolve conflict, you must understand it first. Conflict is usually the result of two or more values, perspectives, or opinions that are contradictory in nature and have not been aligned or agreed upon yet. Most conflict hampers productivity, lowers morale, causes more and continued conflicts, and supports inappropriate behaviors.
The word “conflict” is often viewed as a negative issue within an organization, but with proper leadership, conflict can help raise and address problems, help people learn how to recognize and benefit from their differences, and cause authentic communication, just to name a few. My objective is to increase my leadership skills in the area of conflict resolution, to see conflict as an opportunity for change and growth, Focus on issues rather than personal positions, and to have the ability to approach all conflict optimistically. Moreover, I will enhance skills needed to teach people to overcome communication barriers, giving people the ability to avoid and/or resolve their own conflicts without having to involve management. The action plan below will be the first steps toward objectives stated above.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ACTION PLAN
Date: May 1, 2009
Goal(s): Develop conflict management skills and transfer skills to team
|Action Step |Resources Needed |Person(s) |Others to Involve to |Timeline |Complete | | | |Responsible |Complete | | | |Contact Corporate Trainer...