Leadership Inspirations – Recognizing Value

“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.”

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)

Founding Father of the United States of America

The Exchange: Four Tips for Having Conflict-Busting Conversations in the Workplace

A long-time consultant is offended by something a new salesperson said on a conference call and is threatening to leave. And an employee in marketing is furious about being passed over for a promotion in favor of her coworker and is trying to discredit her. These are just a couple of examples of the workplace conflicts that take up 42 percent of the typical manager’s time. The trick to moving past these conflicts and on to increased productivity for everyone at your organization is knowing how to broach the topics in a way that leads to improved working relationships.

Disagreements, disputes, and honest differences are normal in any workplace. When these normal occurrences are treated as opportunities for exploring new ideas about projects, they can become catalysts for increased energy and productivity. Getting to that place starts with an honest discussion.

The following tips – excerpted from The Exchange – will teach you how to turn your next meeting with conflicting employees into a productive conversation.


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About the Authors

Steven P. Dinkin is president of NCRC. He received his law degree from George Washington University, where he taught a mediation clinic as an adjunct law professor. He has also taught mediation courses in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. For several years with the Center for Dispute Settlement in Washington, D.C., Steve served as an employment and workplace mediator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other federal agencies. In 2003, he moved to San Diego to lead NCRC. His experience managing a talented and opinionated staff has contributed to the realism of this book. To read Steven Dinkin’s complete biography, click here.

Barbara Filner was the director of training for NCRC from 1984-2010. She currently works as a consultant for NCRC. Barbara has a master’s degree in teaching from Indiana University and has worked as a teacher, a labor union official, and an analyst in local and state government. She has designed and conducted workshops on mediation and conflict resolution in the workplace in both the United States and Europe. She has lived in Pakistan, India, and Egypt, and thus brings a multicultural perspective to this book. She has also co-written two books about culture and conflict, Conflict Resolution Across Cultures and Mediation Across Cultures. To read Barbara Filner’s complete biography, click here.

Lisa Maxwell is currently the director of the training institute at NCRC. She has traveled all over the world as a trainer for NCRC for almost 20 years. Lisa has a master’s degree in education from San Diego State University and has developed curricula and taught courses at the high school and university levels. Mrs. Maxwell developed and is the lead trainer in The Exchange Training. Lisa has worked with businesses, with the military, and with nonprofit organizations on finding creative, effective ways to manage conflicts. To read Lisa Maxwell’s complete biography, click here.

To learn more about the NCRC, or to attend one of its upcoming training sessions, visit its Web site, www.ncrconline.com.

“Trust Me, I’m a Leader”: Why Building a Culture of Trust Will Boost Employee Performance – and Maybe Even Save Your Company

Do your employees trust you? The brutal truth is probably not. It may not be fair, and you may not want to hear it, but chances are that previous leaders have poisoned the ground on which you’re trying to grow a successful business. Make no mistake: Unless you and all the leaders in your organization can gain the trust of your employees, performance will suffer. And considering how tough it is to survive in today’s business environment, that’s very bad news for your company.


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About the Author

John Hamm is one of the top leadership experts in Silicon Valley. He was named one of the country’s Top 100 venture capitalists in 2009 by AlwaysOn and has led investments in many successful high-growth companies as a partner at several Bay Area VC firms. Hamm has also been a CEO, a board member at over thirty companies, and a CEO adviser and executive coach to senior leaders at companies such as Documentum, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, TaylorMade-adidas Golf and McAfee. John teaches leadership at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University. To read John Hamm’s full biography, click here.

StrategyDriven Alternative Development Best Practice Article

Alternative Development Best Practice 1 – Reality Questions

Many exciting ideas for new product and service offerings are generated every year; often appearing as the next great pursuit that will surely propel the organization ahead of its competitors. With this view in mind, those conceiving of these ideas create business cases for leadership. Too often, these eager employees unwittingly identify every fact and figure supporting their proposition and ignored those that would shed doubt. Subsequently, the business cases developed present only a partial picture of reality; potentially omitting true shortfalls that diminished value or place the organization itself at risk.


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StrategyDriven Podcast Series

Economists’ Ties to the Financial Sector

The Financial Crisis of 2008 shook the very foundations of the global economy. In this PBS Newshour video, Business and Economics Correspondent Paul Solman talks to Charles Ferguson, director of the Academy Award winning documentary, Inside Job, a film that raises concerns about conflicts of interest for economists in academics and their work within the financial sector. Solman goes on to explore how this film is influencing some leading economic thinkers today.

Click here to access a full transcript and mp3 audio file of this video.