Article creator image

BY Peggy Klaus

Dealing with Conflict at Work? Consider it an Opportunity to Raise Your Executive Presence

Conflict at work

Photo credit: Creative Commons

TAGS:Career advice, Executive, Women in the workplace, Leadership

Whether you are disagreeing with a colleague over the direction of a creative project, or how to approach a new client pitch, conflict at work is never easy. As much as many of us would like to run for the hills when faced with confrontation, it’s part and parcel of our daily business world. Indeed, how you handle difficult situations could even determine your suitability for more senior positions •especially with management responsibilities.

So, the next time you find yourself unsure of how to handle conflict, here are the top eight behaviors of people that possess executive presence―the magical aura that turns heads, commands respect and trust, and inspires others•when confronted with difficult conversations.

  1. They keep their emotions in check.
  2. They are relentlessly hopeful and honest about resolving the situation.
  3. They are comfortable with silence and the discomfort that can come with difficult conversations. They don’t feel like they have to fill air space.
  4. They communicate with warmth and strength (especially important for women who have a narrower band of acceptable communication).
  5. They know what they want to say and rehearse and paraphrase their thoughts, so that it comes out conversationally and naturally.
  6. They ignore rules such as for every one piece of negative feedback you give four pieces of good feedback which only serve to diffuse the message.
  7. Their intention is not to shame, guilt or embarrass but to address the problem and fix it.
  8. They’re decisive and deal with it. They know if they procrastinate and don’t deal with it, they will likely end up carrying it.

Behaving with these things in mind will help you command the respect of colleagues regardless of your job title or seniority. For example, even a relatively junior employee can be more helpful if she is rational and tries to communicate warmly and hopefully when trying to resolve a tricky situation.

If you are relatively new to some of these behaviors and attitudes, don’t beat yourself up about not being “perfect.” Leaders are not made overnight, and practicing leadership behaviors and attitudes is an important part of getting there.

Peggy Klaus advises senior managers on leadership, communication, dealing with conflict, and raising executive presence.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
 

You May Also Like

Related Community Discussions

  • I'm a recruiter for the largest staffing and recruiting firm in the country. I'm seeing a lot of people on this thread who are extremely stressed out about finding work, and I think you guys need to start seriously considering working with recruiters to find jobs. NOT ALL RECRUITERS ARE EQUAL! I work for Aerotek, where we value your goals, skills, and interests and we find you a "perfect fit": the job that actually utilizes your experience and abilities. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you are looking for work in the Portland, OR metro area. I can be reached via this thread, and, if you're seriously interested, please let me know and I will share my email.

  • I'm at a relatively senior level in my career, and I'm getting married. I'd like to change my name...but I'm concerned about how it could affect my "brand." First of all, people inside my company and out already know me by my maiden name...But also, will it affect my career prospects and make it seem like I am too focused on marriage?

  • I'm at a relatively senior level in my career, and I'm getting married. I'd like to change my name...but I'm concerned about how it could affect my "brand." First of all, people inside my company and out already know me by my maiden name...But also, will it affect my career prospects and make it seem like I am too focused on marriage?

  • Hi. I have been an Executive Assistant, or some other assistant/operations person for over 30 years. After losing my job of many years due to restructuring, I am looking for a permanent position. I feel as though assistant positions are on the way out, given anecdotal evidence by other assistants as well as executives I've spoken to. Please note that I am in pursuit of my bachelor's, but it is not yet completed. Apparently 30 years of experience doesn't mean anything if I don't have a degree. I've been told that it is recognized that I am intelligent and eager to learn pretty much anything (as well as easy to work with) so do not pigeon-hole myself into going after assistant roles, but I don't know what else I should look into or other keywords to use when searching for positions. Does anyone have any guidance on what kinds of jobs are out there?

  • I am seeking a part time Interior Design position but almost impossible to find unless it is full time. I am even willing to become a receptionist at a furniture store just to get my foot in the door.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?

Find Out

What are women saying about your company?

Click Here

Share This

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Share with Friends
  • Share Anonymously