How do you resolve a conflict with yourself?
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” — Albert Einstein
Often the leader must make difficult decisions and does not have interlocutors with whom to exchange in confidence. In addition, in certain situations, it is not possible to be completely transparent with your teams or with your peers. The leader is then alone with himself to make the final decision. Add to this that the international manager generally suffers more cruelly from the loneliness of the leader than his colleagues in mainland France. Indeed, the remoteness of the head office and the expatriation in another cultural universe add to the relational distance and make the loneliness of the leader more intense.
In these difficult moments, the leader may have the feeling of ruminating on his thoughts, of being trapped in a loop of reasoning, of being haunted by contradictory ideas on the pros and cons that do not allow him to identify a clear direction.
What to do to get out of this situation? How do you resolve this conflict with yourself and make a peaceful decision?
Here are the 6 mistakes not to make and the 5 ways to succeed.
The 6 mistakes not to make
Mistake #1: Believing that if you keep thinking about it you will find the solution
As Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” In other words, there is no point in continuing to think on a loop about the decision you need to make and the parameters you need to integrate. Your brain already has this information and is now working in a circle. And sometimes he gets carried away. At this stage, the most useful thing is to “unplug” it with some kind of entertainment (television, convivial moment with friends, sport, etc.) or even through an exercise in letting go (meditation, mindfulness, etc.). Often, this moment of brain rest allows new ideas to emerge.
Mistake #2: Thinking that by listing the pros and cons you will have the key
You think of breaking the deadlock by sitting down in front of a sheet of paper and laying out the pros and cons, face to face, in two columns. Unfortunately, in general, all the ideas that we put down on paper were already in our head. At the end of the exercise we think we see the scales tipping to one side, but in the hours that follow your hesitations wake up again and the rumination resumes.
Mistake #3: Making a quick decision to stop thinking about it
You consider that continuing your reflection will lead to nothing other than wasting your time. You may then be tempted to make a quick decision to stop thinking about it and get into action. This is consistent with the axiom “In a storm, a captain who goes straight is better than a captain who constantly changes course.” Even if the first goes towards the eye of the storm, in the end, by going straight, he will come out of the storm while the second takes the risk of remaining in the storm forever. But that’s confusing your brain with a storm when it deserves much better consideration.
Mistake n°4: Thinking that a consultant will know how to give you the answer
Exhausted by your thoughts on a loop, you may be seduced by the idea of delegating to an expert the elaboration of the decision you must make. Additional advantage: if you are criticized for the consequences of your decision, you can always retort that you followed the advice of an expert. So you couldn’t do better.
Yet only you know all the parameters of your situation and only you will be “accountable”. Getting expert advice is good. Unloading on him, when he is not in your situation and has his close agenda, is irresponsible.
Mistake #5: Rejecting leads suggested by your intuition
Intuition is often decried by leaders with a background in the hard sciences (engineers, financiers, etc.). These leaders reject any leads offered by their intuition. Of course, intuition does not hold absolute truth. But neglecting its contribution, namely that of unconscious thought capable of dazzling, is to deprive yourself of precious signals that could enrich your decision-making process.
Mistake #6: Thinking that decision-making coaching is useless
As you have always been able to make decisions that are good enough to ensure a good career, you do not think it is necessary to get support to develop an ability to make better decisions. You think your intelligence and experience will be enough to keep you in Top Management. In this case, be prepared for disappointments and backlashes. To continue your career progression, you must be able to make decisions in the face of increasingly difficult situations, with growing uncertainties, and in increasingly limited time, which even a supercomputer could not solve. You will then have to be accompanied by professional Executive Coaches who master the techniques and soft-skills for decision-making in a VUCA environment (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) characteristic of the 21st century.
How to empower yourself to succeed
Track n°1: Try other approaches, even the most incongruous
Your way of looking at the situation is a projection according to a certain analysis grid. It is a world created by your mind from the situation. However, as Einstein said “The world we have created is the result of our level of reflection, but the problems it generates cannot be solved at this same level”. Often, to make a good decision you will therefore have to get out of the mental approach with which you apprehend the situation. You will have to stop your ruminations and looping thoughts to experiment with other, less “mental” approaches and find the one that suits you best.
Track n°2: Use the “ALPHA belting” tool
As a first example, if you have to decide between choice A and B, you can test the “ALPHA strapping” tool from CO-CREATiVE Communication®. Like martial arts that use the opponent’s strength, this questioning technique allows you to “girdle” the process of rumination and use your strength to bring out a broader vision of the situation and possible solutions.
Track n°3: Use the “ALPHA gold panning” tool
As a second example, if you feel trapped in your looping thoughts, you can try “ALPHA gold panning”. Like the gold digger who uses a sieve to sift through alluvium and find nuggets, ALPHA gold panning is a technique of continuous, intense and open questioning, during which one refrains from answering, to then let our mind rest and let new ideas blossom.
Track n°4: Use the 7C technique
As a third example from CO-CREATiVE Communication®, if you are still undecided after using the two ALPHA tools, you can experience the 7C technique longer. In this technique, you interrogate your 7 “brains” one after the other to uncover the conflicts that arise between them. Then you seek to grant them.
Track n°5: Be accompanied by an Executive Coach
When you try new techniques intended to circumvent the control of your mind on your thoughts, then to allow you to break the dead end of your looping hesitations, it is essential to be accompanied by someone already experienced in mastering of these tools. For this, support from an Executive Coach expert in CO-CREATiVE Communication® will be very beneficial to you. Such a coach will not only help you to make your decisions on the concrete cases that you will bring to him. But above all, it will train you to master the tools allowing you, thereafter, to make all your decisions, even the most difficult, in complete autonomy.
Learn more about our support
Cadran offers dedicated support to managers who wish to develop their decision-making or conflict resolution skills, their Manager-Coach posture and their multicultural leadership.
Nos offres :
- Les webinars mensuels du cycle « Le Leadership international avec la CO-CREATiVE Communication®» notamment ceux concernant l’outil ALPHA et la technique des 7C
- La Masterclass : « Les secrets de la posture de Manager Coach » en 3 modules de 4 heures
- Coaching Individuel : « Leadership Coaching » — to develop the soft skills of the international leader of excellence
- Coaching Individuel : « Résolution de conflits » — to know how to resolve your inner conflicts (and make the best decision) as well as conflicts between several people
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