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Kovar Systems
Staff Development Business Tips Point to Ponder

How Great Leaders Solve Problems

By Dave Kovar

In pretty much every group or organization, there is inevitably going to be a difference of opinion from time to time. As a leader, you may be called upon to keep everyone on the same page in order to continue to act as a cohesive unit.  

Here are a few tips that might come in handy when this happens:

  • Be Unemotional – Logic and emotion are like oil and water… they don’t mix. If you speak calmly and logically, chances are the other person will respond in turn.
  • Have a Solution in Mind – Go into the discussion already having a potential solution that the other person will hopefully see the value of. But be flexible and also willing to adjust.
  • Try to See the Other Person’s Viewpoint Before Expressing Your Own (Seek First To Understand And Then To Be Understood) – This is important! People can sense when you are trying to understand how they feel and are therefore much more receptive to understanding your views, opinions and ideas. Secondly, you just might see the validity of what they are doing.
  • Don’t Be a Nitpicker – Avoid bringing up unrelated stuff that is not necessary. It tends to make people defensive and never helps to resolve anything.
  • Resist the Temptation to Argue – If you are not sure what to say or how to respond, say nothing.
  • Be Sensitive to Other Peoples Needs – To a hammer, everything is a nail. Each situation is different, each person is different, and so each situation and person should be treated accordingly.
  • Keep It Impersonal – Discuss the actions that you are concerned with, not the person.  In conversation, use “feel”, “felt” or “found” whenever possible.
  • Restate Their Value and Strengths – People are much more receptive to input when they know you appreciate their other qualities. In other words, remember to praise, correct, praise.
  • Agree to Disagree – Sometimes it is okay to have a different viewpoint, as long as there is mutual respect and a way to work around it.

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by Dave Kovar