How can we understand people better and lean into organizational performance? Priya Klocek is the President and CEO of Consulting On The Go and is a board member of Women Helping Women. Today we’re talking about building relationships and recognizing yourself as an individual, so you can show up and lead authentically.
Manage conflict instead of avoiding it
First, recognize your personal relationship with conflict. Oftentimes our culture plays into our worldview, and depending on when or where we grew up, we could think of conflict as something to ignore or something that has to be put on the table.
Then take a look at your team. Who are you working with? And whose conflict or communications styles are different than yours? We tend to surround ourselves with people who are more like us so that we don’t need to deal with conflict.
Understand the role your upbringing plays
In every relationship and interaction, we are the common denominator. How aware are you of your environment, how you’re showing up, and the impact it’s having?
There are also various tools out there, like the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory which measures your conflict and communication styles through the lens of culture. Growing up in the ‘70s in India will impact you differently than growing up in the ‘70s in California, and affects the way you show up today.
Adapting to cultural differences in communication
No two people are exactly alike and one size does not fit all, so how do we lead a diverse team? The hope is to get our team to adapt and adjust to each other, which is why we need to have those honest conversations.
What are the key steps that organizations can take to get to know and understand each other on a deeper level?
Human beings are like icebergs: you can only see about 5-10% of us, and the real stuff that makes us who we are lives below the waterline. When we operate at that 5-10% level, the results we get are not always real and authentic.
- Recognize and understand what drives you and your behavior as a leader.
- Accept yourself. Be aware of who you are, what you believe, and why you believe what you believe.
- Own your benchmark, the one that’s driven by your values, beliefs, culture, education, title, and all those wonderful things. It’s what made you who you are today.
- Be aware of and know your worldview about leadership. Are you a servant leader? Are you more authoritarian?
- Be curious. Always ask people, “Help me understand?”
- Get to a place where you’re open to feedback. We all have blind spots.
On assessment tools
Assessment tools shouldn’t define you, but they can inform you. If you’re honest with yourself, what correlations can you make with what the tool is sharing with you? And as leaders, how do we continue to up our skills and competencies to be able to continue to lead our teams? We’re all works in progress.
On change management
Anytime we embark on a journey of development and truly follow through, it requires change, and therefore change management. Recognize what your motivation levels are, and take the knowledge you’re processing (e.g. from reading a book on the topic) and put it into action.