Mark Skeie and I, Julie Roles, had the pleasure of meeting Neil Baker, MD, today in a telephone conference. We were impressed with his thoughts on dealing with tensions that arise in community leadership. No matter where you are in your leadership journey, I think you will find this article interesting and informative.
Baker notes that conflict occurs frequently in public life. “One common trap in such situations is to assume that if we act rationally, fairly, without blame, and with calm emotions, then others will or should automatically follow our lead with their behavior. But, the stress of interpersonal difficulties causes everyone, at times, to fall into unproductive relational patterns. This can happen even when people have the best of intentions and skills. Starting with expectations that everyone will always act according to their best values puts us at substantial risk for disappointment or anger and then falling into our own problematic communication and behavior.”