Mediation is a key leadership communication skill

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Mediation is part of leadership communicationMediation is a powerful leadership communication tool to smooth the way through disagreements.

Learning to successfully respond to conflict helps a leader learn that conflict can be very good for an organization. For instance, conflict can:

  • Help to measure unrest in a group of employees
  • Point out blind spots in programs, activities or policies
  • Measure the level of interest in topics or issues

A leader who recognizes these problems and becomes a mediator to help others work through their issues becomes a valuable asset to the organization.

It is important to understand some key ideas about conflict. A study of conflict by the Harvard Negotiating Project made some meaningful observations:

  • Conflict is a natural process, part of the nature of all relationships
  • Conflict can be managed through effective communications

Most problems begin as specks on the horizon, and leaders should not ignore them.

By taking action early, the small problem doesn’t become a big issue, or grow to a crisis. Take action using mediation to keep conflict from becoming an overwhelming problem.

Mediation is very effective. Even kids can do it. A peer mediation program in an elementary school in Lansing, Michigan, decreased the number of school fights from five per week to five per year.

 

Make mediation a part of your business plan. Click below to learn 7 tips on how to mediate and find sources for mediation training at community-based Conflict Resolution Centers.

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Jack Pyle: The Face to Face Maximizer

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Leadership – Contributing Factors That Make an Exceptional Leader

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There are many contributing factors that lead to effective Leadership. Every successful business owner knows that the biggest reason for their success is great leadership.  While not everyone possesses the characteristics necessary to be a good leader, they can often be developed.  For some it comes naturally, for others it requires a bit more work.

Communication – The #1 Leadership Skill

Communication skills are probably the most important factor in an effective leader.  Without it, problems go unresolved; areas of business that could be improved or made more profitable remain just as they are, when certain areas could be made more productive or efficient.  In Leadership, it is absolutely necessary that an individual is able to convey ideas and thoughts to employees, and that employees be able to offer feedback so that the company is made better as a whole.

If problems exist among workers, someone with exceptional leadership skills is often able to iron out the problem by offering a viable or satisfactory solution.  This assists in making for a calm, stable work environment.

Are you a motivator?  Another Essential Leadership Characteristic

People need to be motivated; after all, with no goals or end result to look forward to, employees tend to stagnate.  Good leadership includes challenging workers to do better.  Some employees even enjoy being assigned a project or challenge that is beyond their normal “scope” of duties.  It increases their motivation, and they get an extra boost of confidence simply because you felt they were up to the challenge or task.  Effective leadership often involves helping those who work for you as a whole feel better about themselves and their capabilities.

Avoid Being the Only Person Capable of Handling Details

Those who have good leadership skills understand that employees want to feel that they are part of the “team”, that their input will make a difference.  More importantly, they want to feel that you are part of the team as well; that you’re not just a leader who feels that you are above their level, giving them directions without becoming actively involved in reaching a solution.

As someone in a leadership role, it is important that you realize that others need to feel capable of making decisions on their own; everyone has potential they may not use.  By letting your employees use their untapped potential and make some decisions on their own, you will become a better leader who is also well-liked by the “team”.

Outstanding Leadership Requires an Open Mind

Listening to the ideas of your employees is essential in great leadership; by listening to the ideas and opinions of your workers, they will realize that you care and trust them to offer sound ideas – even if you feel that what they have to say is outside your own thoughts.  Restrict judgment until after you hear what your employee’s have to say – you may just find that they have some great ideas that you haven’t thought of!

Effective leadership does not mean that you take on all problems and solutions yourself.  Give your employees the chance to air their take on things, let them handle more responsibility, and above all, make them feel as though YOU are part of THEIR team.

 

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1811267_15.html

Article Author: Hakan Samad

About the Author: Hakan Samad Graduated in University of Washington, majoring in Business Policy, International Business, Organizational Behavior,Business Communications, Consumer Research, Managing Information Systems, New Media Communications and business Leadership.

He is now a Freelance writer who is passionate about authentic relationships between consumers and brands. He had 10 years of experience from retail channel planning to product marketing; He is currently a Freelance writer for few business websites and now recides in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

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Six of the Most Common Leadership Communication Styles

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Author: Simon Lee Smith

There was an interesting article in PR Week last week, on the subject of leadership communication. Entitled ‘Get the best out of your boss’ it outlines six of the most common leadership styles and suggests how communicators can best play to the personalities of their leaders. It’s a nice reminder of the breadth of styles we have to work with and provides some useful pointers on how to play to your boss’s particular strengths.
 
The six leadership styles – and the supporting descriptions (I’ve paraphrased) are:

1. Visionary leader – the classic rock star CEO who sets the big-picture and excels at moving people towards a shared vision. These leaders are superb public speakers and enjoy life in the spotlight. Barack Obama is a good example.
2. Affiliative leader – this type of leader wants to be your friend. A collaborative figure, the affiliative leader focuses on emotional needs and is most likely to ask ‘how are you?’. Angela Merkel is held up as an example. 
3. Coaching leader – holds long conversations that often extend beyond the work place. Good at helping employees identify their strengths and weaknesses and linking these to career goals. Step forward Dr Who.
4. Democratic leader -these are the great listening leaders, though this is sometimes at the expense of decisive action. Favorite catchphrases include ‘what do you think?’. They like to show the way without pushing people in a particular direction. Lord Sebastian Coe is a good example.
5. Pacesetter leader – most likely to say ‘copy me’, these hard working leaders never shirk a challenge and lead by example. One downside is that they often expect employees to automatically get the picture. Step forward Margaret Thatcher…
6. Commanding leader – an old-school taskmaster who brings the dynamics of the playground into the boardroom. Very command and control in style they stick to one clear direction and refuse to consider an alternative routes or messages. Montgomery Burns is a good example. 

The communicators quoted in the article, among them David Ferrabee and James Harkness, provide lots of useful advice on working with these types, including:

Providing visionary leaders the right platform and sufficient time to explain their vision to others and gather feedback. High profile tactics like webcasts and regular publication profiles go down well with these types, but they may sometimes lack an eye for detail and require specific IC support in this area.

Identifying opportunities for affiliative leaders to show their steel. Tactics like back to the floor are useful here, as are structured team meetings which focus on sharing constructive feedback. One classic issue with these types is their desire to communicate only the positive messages.

Playing to the strengths of coaching leaders by encouraging them to host small, intimate sessions and focus on helping people turn strategy into action. These types are not great at big picture, but excel at one-to-one.

Creating high-involvement forums for democratic leaders – workshops, online forums and blogs are particularly powerful. Clear, decisions communications help overcome this leader’s tendency towards indecision. Arm them with insights and intelligence about the workforce and they should respond well.

Encouraging the pacesetting leader to be more inclusive, more considerate of the feelings of others and creating plenty of listening opportunities. Inclusivity is key here and tactics like recognition programmes and use of social media channels can be useful.

Context is critical for the commanding leader. Rather than just explaining what to people, they need to focus on building understanding around the why. Big picture strategy is important here – and tactics like learning maps and visuals and strategy tool kits can be very handy.  Listening channels are important too – and employees may require anonymity as commanding leaders can breed distrust and fear. Coaching in body language is also useful. Visit us at  Gatehouse Group for more information on Communication. 

Author: Lee Smith is co-founder of Gatehouse, an internal communication  agency, consultancy on internal communications, internal comms, employee communication, research, audit, jobs, change management and employee engagement.

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1050457_15.html

About the Author:

http://www.gatehousegroup.co.uk

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