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The spirit of inquiry

The spirit of inquiry

Amazing leaders are not interested in winning for their own ego. They understand that finding the truth benefits the whole team so everyone can win. 

Open your mind and look for answers, not victory.

@paige_v61

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Without a face or a voice to convey emotion, written text can easily be misconstrued as being terse, sarcastic, snarky, or even mean. 

Always assume you don’t know the tone of any written communication you receive and openly inquire as to the emotions of your debate partner.

Many people enter into a debate ready to battle with only one side knowing the rules and purpose of engagement. 

Before beginning any debate or argument, discuss with the other party a purposeful outcome and define clear rules of engagement.

If the emotions are high, debaters might assume that the other parties are against them.

Unless it's a life or death situation or your job is at stake, keep the emotion low and believe what the other party is communicating about their emotion and perspective. Keep the attacks on the facts.

Learning and winning

Amazing leaders see any small conflict like a cockroach in a slum wall — if one shows up, there must be many more behind the surface. 

When conflict arises unexpectedly, seize the opportunity to examine the circumstances and the underlying issues. You may find solutions that prevent huge systemic breakdowns or open you to massive new opportunities.

An office or business is a fascinating ecosystem that often combines unlikely people in high-pressure ways without concern for personality, style, or methodology. Everyone just assumes that people will find a way to get along. In reality, it takes effort on everyone's part.

Start every debate thinking of the other person as your best friend. Seek to help them understand and feel good about the engagement at the beginning, middle and end.

It’s okay to let things heat up during a debate, but you have to release the pressure after the battle or resentment will occur and build in an aggregated matter.

After a debate, you have the responsibility to make sure everyone is whole, even if it means you have to apologize for taking things too far for the circumstances. 

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Hope allows you to come up with creative solutions to the disputes at the core of the conflict. 

You may see a way out of what seems to be a locked battle of wills. This is what happens in ordinary problem-solving, when thinking outside of the box can help all sides come up with a solution. 

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Leadership and conflict go hand-in-hand

Conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. While you can try and avoid conflict (bad idea), you cannot escape conflict. 

The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader.

  • It helps to create effective brand messaging.  It determines how your brand is perceived and also builds trust with customers.
  • Customer service relies on good communication. "60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience."  Microsoft’s 2016 Global State of Customer Service Report.
  • It enables positive team relationships.  Effective communication helps to unite teams and create a safe environment to express themselves.
  • It helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. It can help to defuse a potentially explosive dispute while bad communication can set it off.