How to Avoid the Crossfire

Great leadership is often demonstrated when things are at their most heated.  In the crossfire that occurs within teams and with clients, truly great leaders shine, and the result is a stronger team and an improved client relationship.  But do we have to go there to get the results of great leadership?

I work with clients on navigating the crossfire and recently helped a new leader with this.  His homework assignment was to “watch for the crossfire”; to observe moments when two people’s strengths collide.  Only he did not have any crossfire moments to share with me in his prep form before our coaching session.  He could only report of a possible upcoming crossfire moment.

As he shared details of a recent client meeting, the bells went off in my head.  There was no crossfire as my client had adverted it.  Not in the “I don’t want to raise this issue. Let’s avoid the elephant in the room way.”  No.  Because of his leadership and the use of his strengths, there was no crossfire!

Averting the crossfire did not require my client to know the other person’s strengths or to use some type of management or negotiation trick.  All he did was use his natural talent, which is most definitely a strength, to facilitate the most productive conversation that could not have been scripted.  The beauty of this is that my client did not even see, until I pointed it out, what he had accomplished.  His Achiever strength let me give him accolades, but only for the moment.

My client is leading authentically through his strengths.  He may not recognize it every time he does so.  It is easy for him.  But others do recognize it as the authentic leadership that it is, and he has been justly recognized and rewarded in his organization.

Leading through strengths does not require that your entire organization or even your team know their strengths.  All that is required is that you know yours.

Do you know your strengths?  Step into your strengths and let your leadership shine.  Request a complimentary coaching conversation and let me help you avoid or navigate the crossfire.


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