Author: Greg Baker

Look Deeper When Managing Conflict

This article and its related blog series is about managing unintentional conflict in business, and the dramatic benefits of doing so. But why unintentional conflict? It turns out that most conflict in business is unintentional. Yes, there are those who intentionally pick fights, damage the reputations of others, stir up controversy, and otherwise operate in a self-serving manner at the expense of others. However, in our businesses, if you take away all of that intentional conflict you are still left with a majority of the conflict.

How can that be? Most folks in business seem like decent people. If you get rid of the “bad eggs” how could there still be that much conflict? The truth is that most businesses and those of us in them create unintentional conflict – some more than others. A certain amount of this is inevitable. After all, we are not perfect. However, as I will discuss in this article, there is much that can be done to see and avoid creating unintentional conflict.


Topics:Conflict ManagementOperational DevelopmentOrganizational ChangePerformance ImprovementStrategy and TransformationTransformational Change

The Business Interview Is An Interaction

We continue our series of articles about client and stakeholder interviewing to inform and build alignment around important projects and initiatives. In our Advance Update, Conducting Stakeholder Interviews: Creating a Shared Space, we introduced the concept of shared space as it relates to conducting interviews. In this article we review that concept and discuss how it relates to the five most important actions for conducting stakeholder interviews.


Topics:Client InterviewingSoft Skills

Avoid These Unfortunate Interviewing Techniques

Five Wrong Ways to Conduct Stakeholder InterviewsThis is the second in a series of blog articles about client and stakeholder interviewing to inform and build alignment around important projects and initiatives. This article addresses five wrong ways to conduct stakeholder interviews, common pitfalls that you should avoid when conducting interviews, and the next one addresses the five most important things you should do.

In our Advance Update article on Conducting Interviews, I introduced a new concept called creating shared space with those you interview. To quote a line from the article:

“The greater the shared space you have with another, the greater the opportunity to work in a way that accomplishes mutually beneficial work, and aspires to a higher purpose.” (more…)

Topics:Client InterviewingSoft Skills

Don’t Fall Into Destructive Influence

Whether your clients are internal or external, you work hard to understand their needs. You develop ideas and solutions to help them meet their needs. But then how do you then convince your clients that they should understand and appreciate your vision and support your proposal? Will you use constructive influence or destructive influence to convince them? (See our recent article, Influence – Constructive or Destructive, for descriptions of each.) Rather than answer this question directly I decided to have some fun with it. Here is a short tutorial on how not to influence your clients. Not to worry. These unfortunate methods point to strategies that do work.


Topics:Customer FocusInfluencePerformance ImprovementSoft Skills

The Next 90 Days

Relaunch Your Career With Personal Strategy Planning

the next 90 daysWhat you do over the next 90 days at work could become a cornerstone in your career or, at the very least, could help you position this as the year you finally accomplished that important goal or project you haven’t been able to get to.

Each of us knows that our career success is enhanced by strategic accomplishments that rise above daily operations. Yet sometimes we get bogged down, lose focus, or become distracted by less important tasks. (more…)

Topics:Getting UnstuckInfluencePerformance ImprovementSoft SkillsStrategy and TransformationTransformational Change