Leading Morale During Hot Debates & Disputes | #PeopleSkills #Leadership

Even during hot debates and disputes, it is critical for leaders to lead morale. It isn’t the time to say, “Oh well, conflicts happen” and then walk away. How people disagree and have hot debates affects future teamwork and morale.

Hot Debates: Image is three candles w/ flames moving diagonally.

Lead Morale Even in Hot Debates & Disputes. Image by Alosh Bennett via Flickr.

Image by Alosh Bennett via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Lead Morale During Hot Debates & Disputes

Leaders, when those you lead are in hot debates, don’t walk away. Likewise, don’t demand that they suddenly agree. Forcing people to smile and deny differences can crush morale. Moreover, hot debates can be valuable.

Value of Hot Debates & Diverse Views

  • Prevent groupthink

  • Uncover factors that affect team results

  • Reveal and resolve issues that could otherwise sink performance and morale

  • Highlight creative and innovative approaches to business goals and challenges

How to Lead Morale During Hot Debates & Disputes

  1. Build a culture of respectful honest communication every day. Be the model of respect even when you disagree with those you lead. Leading morale in hot debates and disputes starts before the friction begins!

  2. Clarify that the goal of any debate or even dispute is learning and resolution. The goal is not conquering and winning. Have breaks in the dispute when people highlight what they have heard and learned so far.

  3. Hot Debates: Image is quote that aim of argument is not victory but progress.

    Aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress. ~Joseph Joubert

  4. Guide people away from name calling and labels during hot debates. Name calling and labels cloud the issues they are debating and leave emotional scars.

  5. Remind everyone that tone of voice matters. “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.” ~Desmond Tutu It preserves high morale and teamwork.

  6. Illustrate active listening. Remind them that if nobody is listening, then it isn’t a debate. It’s just noise.

  7. Have quiet time to process. This helps emotions from overheating and leaving deep scars.

  8. Stop, apologize for attacking, and pick up with a positive attitude. Make it OK for everyone to pause, stop any attack they have made, and then continue debating in a more positive manner. Learn as you go and grow.

Key Message to Lead Morale in Hot Debates & Disputes

As leaders, impress upon everyone that hot debates and disputes happen. However, you have a choice on how you disagree! Choose wisely.

Hot Debates: Quote of Max Lucado, Conflict is inevitable but combat is option.

Lead Morale in Hot Debates & Disputes. Quoting Max Lucado.

What other tips about debates & disputes will you share here?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Post:
Workplace Conflict Resolution: Key to Resolving Anger

©2019 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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4 Responses to “Leading Morale During Hot Debates & Disputes | #PeopleSkills #Leadership”

  1. Alli Polin says:

    When I was working with a company, I was often brought in to facilitate hot debates for many of the reasons you outlined here. We need to respectfully share our positions, give the other side a chance to be heard, and listen to each other. It was often in the mess of the hot debate that an even stronger path emerged. When the team was able to rally around a new direction that didn’t come top down, from the leader, but from their willingness to debate and speak up, it made for powerful action. Every time I came in to facilitate, the leader was there too. They didn’t get to disappear and pass off the problem. In fact, their willingness to be a part of a difficult hot debate without taking sides from the get-go, or demanding everyone get along, made a huge difference to team morale.

    Well said and helpful advice! Will share!


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Great example Alli. I especially like the part when you say “It was often in the mess of a hot debate that an even stronger path emerged.” It’s a lesson everyone needs to remember. As long as the hot debate doesn’t personally attack or demean/disdain … it has value.

      Thanks for weighing in on this topic and of course for sharing this post.

  2. Terri Klass says:

    Great post Kate! I have found that coming up with mutual perspectives can help move a hot debate forward. Focusing on what we have in common as opposed to what we disagree on can bring terrific results. Thanks Kate for opening up this dialogue.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Terri,
      It never ceases to amaze me that “commonality” makes the world go round. When people find mutuality … similar views … the force propels the disagreements to new solutions.

      Thanks for adding your views!

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