Big Deal vs. Ordeal

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September 2015

Big Deal vs. Ordeal

You have “big deals” in your world don’t you? So many of my clients really do process big deals. There are some big things going on these days and let’s face it, you and your Team are accountable at times for the big deals in your organization. And you really would have it no other way.

As you consider some of the weighty initiatives you and your Team have executed this year, I would like to ask you a question. Have any of your big deals become ordeals? In other words, has some of the excitement, pressure and weightiness of your big deals taken on further weight by the addition of the human dimension of conflict? If you, your Team and your organization are progressing, leading change and reaching for more/better, then you can be sure some conflict is likely to be present. But is there a way to keep big deals from becoming ordeals?

In the world of conflict management it can be advantageous to look at conflict by identifying the source of the conflict. Oft times the identification process itself becomes an early step toward effective resolution. Below are four categories of conflict. It is important to note that a conflict may fall into more than one category:

Conflict of goals. One or more parties are heading toward or wanting to head toward different goals, targets or ends.
Conflict of methods. One or more parties may be in goal alignment but disagree on methods to reach the goal. Conflicts of style would also fall into this category.
Conflicts of needs. These are tangible requirements or necessities that have an impact on an individual’s ability to perform their job. A simple example of this would be one person needing the main conference room to entertain a prospective client while another Team member needs the room for an important 1Q planning meeting.
Conflict of values. These are intangible, guiding principles deemed as important.

Leadership in Advance

The proactive approach to effective conflict management is to take a pre-emptive look at your big deal to keep ““ordeal” out of the mix. When approaching a large organizational or Team initiative, consider the above four categories in advance. Are all members of your Team likely to be aligned in goals, methods, needs and values? In the pre-planning and preparation process of a major project, much wasted time and productivity can be recovered by early identification and discussion.

It can keep a big deal from becoming an ordeal.


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