Dealing with Leadership Consensus Dependency

Consensus-DependencyYou don’t have to look far to see the signs of leaders who aren’t comfortable dealing with disputes. Unfortunately, this only reinforces consensus dependency.

Learning to accept and work within conflict is key. Leaders who resist conflict must understand its necessity: the best ideas and solutions often hatch from disagreements.

If leaders can learn that conflict needn’t be painful and that it’s actually healthy in the proper proportions, they can use it to their advantage. Conflict-resolution training can help leaders encourage productive debate without hurting feelings or wounding character. Trust grows, and difficult ideas can be processed to reach consensus on solutions. Minor conflicts won’t destroy unity, as leaders may fear, but rather forge it.

You see, employees want courageous, decisive leaders to pull them through difficult times, especially when conflict arises. Leaders must learn there are times when consensus is beneficial and other times when strong, decisive leadership is the gold standard. One’s ability to separate the two determines success. Making the correct call draws people to you, while fumbling puts them off.

Leaders who reveal themselves, who are transparent and passionate, are the most revered; they create the most loyal followers. Holding back your opinions in favor of team feedback has its place and time, but people want a real leader they can know, trust and learn from.

Consensus-style leaders need to project a leader’s persona that blends the proper levels of humility, courage, wisdom, insight and confidence. Your people won’t sense these attributes if you fail to express them.

As consensus-style leaders overcome their inhibitions, their strength will shine through, and unity will be stronger than ever.

It’s often difficult to assess one’s own issues, so consider working with a mentor or coach. Consensus-style leaders benefit from professional coaching that pinpoints specific weaknesses.

What do you think? How are you dealing with consensus leadership? How would consensus dependency coaching help you and your team? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

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