Leadership isn’t getting any easier. Leadership consultant, Susan Steinbrecher, whose insights have been featured in the New York Times, Inc., and Fast Company among others, shares the keys to leading change at work, how to get team buy-in and how to increase employee engagement.
In addition, in an environment where people spend 25-40% of their workweek dealing with disputes, disagreements and unresolved conflict, Susan shares how to better handle conflict at work.
Welcome to Episode 325 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Leaders in Living Rooms
I want to introduce you to a great, new podcast that I’ve added to my repertoire.
It’s from my good friend and leader, Sean Morgan, and it’s called Leaders in Living Rooms. On Leaders in Living Rooms, Sean has backstage conversations, living room style conversations, with leaders like Jud Wilhite, Brady Boyd, Aaron Brockett, David Kinnaman, Kenton Beshore and myself. Sean is a hyper connected leader, and spends a lot of time with founders like me and with their successors to discuss a major issue in church and business, leadership transitions.
Check out Leaders in Living Rooms wherever you get your podcasts, or go to
3 Insights from Susan
1. We have to engage with people’s emotions when leading people into change
When bringing about change, so many leaders do a great job of explaining the logical business case for why they are doing something, but never even think about the emotional part of change. When you change things, jobs can get cut, work teams get separated, and morale can take a huge hit.
So what can you do? Pay attention to the emotional effects change will have on the team. Sit down and listen to them. Hear why the changes will be hard and ask if there is anything you can do to help make the change a bit easier on them. If you show you hear them and care about them, that can go a long way.
2. 25-40% of a leader’s time at work is spent managing conflict
Conflict can be a massive distraction in the workplace. If you have one key relationship on the team falter, you could be losing hours of productivity because those two individuals are trying to avoid each other at all costs. This is a nightmare for your mission.
As the leader, you will have to intervene and help mediate from time to time. When you do this, it will take a lot of emotional intelligence, listening, and pointing the employees to a better future. If you never address conflict, it will only grow and become a bigger problem.
3. 4 steps to not make a triggered response
We all have triggers from our past that when someone hits you will begin to say some things that you will later regret. So how do you avoid saying something dumb or hurtful when you are triggered?
Susan outlines 4 key steps:
- Pause: Hit the pause button and stay quiet. You need extra time to consider your words.
- Deflect: Ask a question like “Can you share more about that? I really want to understand.”
- Breathe: When you are triggered, you need to focus on your breathing. Ask a question or take physical notes to buy yourself time to breathe.
- Delay: If you are 100% sure the conversation is going nowhere, delay it for another time.
Quotes from Episode 325
We have a tendency to blame everybody else for what's going on, and the truth is if you are really emotionally charged about something, I promise you it's your stuff not somebody else's. @SteinbrecherInc Click To Tweet
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Adam Duckworth
In 2012, Adam Duckworth was a part-time travel agent who decided to strike out in his own. Within a few years, Travelmation, his new company, absorbed the company he used to work for. Today, Travelmation is one of the largest and fastest growing travel agencies in America. Along the way, he ended up disrupting the travel industry. Adam shares what’s different about his model, how he’s created a highly engaged team of 400 travel agents in a virtual company, and how he motivates his team to high performance.
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