LEADERSHIP DIM SUM,
PART X: CONFLICT IN THE INNER CIRCLE
major difference of opinion emerges inside the group at the
top. Allegiances begin to shift. Factions form. This group,
once an effectively functioning inner circle, is now dysfunctional.
Distracted by the conflict, everything it tries to deal with
seems like a reflection of the problem. Even the easiest decision-making
processes seem tainted.
to think about: how can you get a team like that back to where
it was before the conflict? Do these people need a mediator?
strife at the top always looks different to the various people
involved. That’s why this team needs a mediator –
from the outside. It doesn’t have to be a long-term
engagement. But the goal is to get people to stand in one
another’s shoes, and help them regain equilibrium.
does it have to be someone from the outside? Because a good
mediator will often be able to see “where the fault
lies” and deal with it appropriately. We believe it
was Winston Churchill who defined a diplomat as “knowing
not to stand between the dog and the hydrant.” Don’t
ask them to change roles and become an arbitrator half-way
through the process. The taking of sides changes the dynamic,
and it is not what they’re there for. You don’t
want them to become partisans. You want them to help this
group get back on track.
about you? Have you seen a conflict in the inner circle that
just couldn't be resolved without outside help? What happened?
Let us know.
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