It can seem a lot easier to be the nice, quiet, or funny person at work (or in life). Nevertheless, when it comes to “difficult conversations” that eventually must happen at the office (or in life!), you cant’ hie behind nice. Being the person who jumps right in is part of developing and honing leadership skills. Someone has to call out those running with scissors, or settle the various interpersonal conflicts that naturally arise in every work environment. Leaders, that person is you…yup.
Good news is, there is an easy way to rock that role, build the skills and handle the difficult conversations in your path.
Leadership training via hands-on team building activities gives you the opportunity to find and develop your leadership “voice” and groom a non-confrontational effective style, in an experiential way. In fact, simulation-based team building programs can be the best solution to becoming the leader you want to be, and your team deserve to have. Theory is good – but wisdom comes from taking theory and making it relevant experience. In a experiential team building program, you get to test drive the skills and get immediate (low risk) feedback on your effect as a leader – waaaay better than in the real workplace. In experiential training there already is the understanding that you are building conflict management skills; not thinking about them, building them.
Difficult conversations are often met with better attitudes when delivered by a person who is respected by peers or and team mates. You want to know you’ve practiced ahead of time – scrimmaged if you will – so you already know your ‘authority’ is approachable and understanding (respectful) in the game. When you have to dive into the middle of a conflict management or safety issue at work, it is easier on everyone when you step in with confidence (’cause you’ve practiced in real-time).
Managing difficult conversations and difficult employees becomes easier when you have built those skills with a team. No NFL or NBA team would think of sending their players to the game without a) practicing the skills and b) practicing the skills together in simulation of the real event. Ever seen a coach field a team of people who have just thought about the game – or just practiced by themselves?
An experiential, hands-on team building process builds real skills. it empowers the participants – from quiet ones to jokesters. Becoming a strong leader who takes on conflict management and resolution (whether for safety, work process or interpersonal issues), gets easier when you engage a few rounds of practice. Team building gives you the time and the means to practice your leadership skills, while building a team founded on mutual respect and shared experience.