Tag Archives: conflict


Side-by-Side Assessments: Line Up for Better Communication!

Communication is at the root for success in every relationship — whether at work and at home. Not only that, communication skills need to be continually improved and strengthened.

Have you “arrived” and feel really good at communicating to those you work or live with? Well, it’s been my experience that whenever we get to that point, watch out. Here comes humble pie! We always need to go deeper and learn more and practice those skills continually. (Remember, you have to do something a minimum of seven times before it sticks!)

As leaders, having the tools to improve communication, resolve conflict, and increase trust is essential for us to motivate our teams to greatness. We must know each other’s strengths and compensate for weaknesses if we are to keep our eyes on the desired outcomes.

Side-by-Side Wisdom

Now, the Shandel Group is offering an incredible new tool to help you communicate better. And it’s FREE! (For most of you, anyway.).

Dr and Mrs Sutherland disc

To test this new tool, I ran the new report on my husband, John, and me. You might know already that we are exact opposites. I can tell you that the comparison charts have helped us communicate so much better! This new knowledge has allowed us to quickly resolve conflict effectively! We have laughed and had a lot of “A-HA” as we read through the report together. (Feel free to look through ours and giggle with us.)

Here are just a few ways the report is being maximized at work:

• Onboarding new employees

• Conflict resolution

• Owner and CEO communicationcompchecklist

• Owners and managers

• Executive team member collaboration

• Mentoring programs

• New orientation with manager

• CEO and Vice President of HR

• Succession planning

• Couples coaching

• Selection and development of talent

• Investment in high potential leaders

Great Offer During April

SO HERE’S THE DEAL: If you took the TTI Talent Insight or Trimetrix report after October 1, 2014, we can run this report for you for FREE! No additional cost! Just contact us with your name and the person you want to be compared with on the report.

If you took the assessment before 2014, then see us for a limited offer on retaking it for 50% off during the month of April! If you have never taken the assessments, we will offer them to you at 20% off for you and one key relationship then run the comparison report at no charge.

Remember, everything starts with WHY. Our WHY drives us out of bed in the morning and is a force that keeps us motivated all day long. When our WHY is clear, we are naturally driven to take action on our what and how.

Dr and Mrs Sutherland graphsJust as true is when our why does not align with another person’s why over a small or large issue, we will have conflict. This new report helps give clarity into the fact that conflict may be a motivational and not personal.

Invest in your relationships and take them to the next level, if not now, when?

Your Coach,



Invest to Have Success!

The holiday decorations are down and put away. Life is assuming its regular routine. Perhaps the weather is dismal where you are, and you’re feeling the winter blues. The ink on your New Year’s resolution is barely dry, and maybe you’re feeling disillusioned by the whole thing! Are you wondering – will there be change this year? Will I finally be fulfilled?

You’ve heard it said: The happiest, most satisfied people in the world are, very often, the ones who give the most to others. Their joy is not found in material things, but in the ways they invest in other people. You’ve seen our Wish List for Your 2016, and we desire to keep this list in front of you for a bit longer – let it sink in!

The final items on our list are directly related to investing in people. YOU have gifts and talents that can be used to better others.

Here are some reminders:

  • I want you to see people, not as objects or obstacles but as human beings. I want you to see their strengths and identify their weaknesses. I want you to focus on their strengths and encourage them to use them daily. Try coaching a weakness into a strength by positive transformation (i.e. a poor communicator can be an excellent communicator with self-awareness and instruction.)
  • I want you to celebrate wins and to catch people doing what’s right.
  • I want you to engage in healthy conflict — daily. Disengage from dysfunctional conflict. Know the difference.
  • I want you to seek alignment. That’s a big statement.
  • I want you to have clarity and to truly focus on what matters only, everyday.
  • I want you to live with purpose and lead others in a manner so they can live their purpose.
  • I want you to be heard. I want you to be seen. I want you to be understood. I want you to first do the same for others, be the first to serve.
  • I want you to take care of yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally. I want you to know your weak area and get a coach or mentor to help you with it.
  • I want you to call out greatness in others and I want you to be great.

Simply, “to be” is the key. I want you to be the best you can be in 2016.

Your Coach,



What Is Healthy Conflict??

Just say the word “conflict” and you can create conflict! Most people prefer to avoid conflict and shy away from it at any cost because it can be messy! However, relationships, both at work and at home, require conflict. And without healthy conflict, you will get neither the results nor the satisfaction you are looking for, professionally and personally.

First, Why Have Conflict?

Conflict, by definition, is created by opposing needs, values, or viewpoints. Everyone is human with shortcomings and blindspots. Thus there will always be beliefs, perceptions, opinions, and ideas that are in opposition.

Yet, any unit of people — a work team or a family — must learn how to resolve those conflicts. For a team to experience good healthy conflict, the foundation of trust must be laid. Trust is created first by understanding all the communication styles of the individual members. Then the team must implement systems and rhythms of communication within the organization.

All of that requires being able to tackle healthy conflict. If you want to be part of a high performing team, you must expect conflict to be a part of it.

I come from a family where certain members refuse to engage in conflict and have requested that I do not as well. Being outnumbered, I must pretend to be someone I am not to keep the “peace” — which is not really peace at all.

Relationships without trust, and thus conflict, are basically superficial, fear-driven and unsatisfying. Eventually, people who will not address conflict in a healthy way will find themselves inevitably engaged in unhealthy conflict: Back-biting, judging, gossiping, and controlling behavior.

Remember, conflict doesn’t go away. It comes out sideways in forms of rage, sickness, depression, and/or despondency. It destroys intimacy and ultimately all joy in life.

What Is Conflict that’s Healthy?

Patrick Lencioni shares in his book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, how teams that engage in healthy conflict know that the only purpose is to produce the best possible solution in the shortest period of time. They discuss and resolve issues more quickly and completely than others, and they emerge from heated debates with no residual feelings or collateral damage, but with an eagerness and readiness to take on the next important issue. (pp. 202 & 203.).

This also goes for your personal relationships as well. You can’t grow if you do not have conflict.

In my work, I use the concept of healthy conflict in two distinct ways which I will share below. Whenever I lead with the words, “I need to have healthy conflict with you,” what I am saying is, “Our relationship is important to me and I need to say some hard things that you may not agree with and that I am uncomfortable saying to you. I am taking a risk, but the end result and our working relationship is more valuable to me than the way I feel.”

Healthy Conflict in an Organization

Say you’re on a team. You were hired for your specific gifts and talents. Your bosses and teammates need to hear your thoughts and understand your viewpoint. While not everyone will have a vote, everyone should have a voice. If you don’t speak up about something, perhaps no one else will either.

On a team, healthy conflict means initiating a controversial topic or bringing attention to an issue or situation that could be seen as controversial or disagreement. It is the act of passionately with conviction bringing your unique perspective or your “story” to the table in the spirit of teamwork, organizational health, and overall alignment.

It takes a lot of courage to engage in healthy conflict. You run the risk of being wrong, or of making someone else be acknowledged as wrong. That is where trust comes in — to ensure everyone is safe in telling their “story” and bringing their unique perspective to the team. There is no wrong, when the goal is to make the team right.

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody’s not thinking.”- General George S. Patton

Healthy Conflict in Personal Relationships

Healthy conflict in personal relationships requires that you address issues that stand in the way between you and the other person.

It’s especially important to use healthy conflict when someone has done something that hurt you and you can’t get past it. Perhaps their action started out small and you logically can see why they did what they did, yet the pain is there and an obstacle.

For best results, I suggest the “24-hour rule.” The reasons are, first, to let you hot heads cool down and make sure you have thought through the issue. Second, to make sure the quiet folks do not let it fester for weeks, thinking they will get over it in time. In reality, time and trust cover over a bunch of idiosyncrasies and quarks in other people, but if you can’t get over a specific issue quickly then address it.

The Value of Healthy Conflict

When you do humbly and thoughtfully initiate healthy conflict with someone who has offended you, what you are saying is, “I care more about the relationship than I do about my own personal comfort.”  Yes, it demands that you take a risk for the sake of the betterment of the relationship and often times for the sake of the other. We all have blind spots and if we do not have people speaking truth into our lives, how will we ever become better people who are happy, engaged and satisfied?

People are messy. You are messy. A large portion of the population does not think like you do. Trust requires vulnerability and the more open we make ourselves the more inevitable conflict we will have. The art is knowing how to stay present and resolve the conflict, because real people are not perfect. In fact, the way we grow in our emotional intelligence and self-awareness is to to have conflict with trusting people who are committed to our journey to become better…not perfect but better than when we met them.

Do you have a trusted team who will point out your blind spot? If so, thank them today.

Your Coach,