Success Tweet 134: Resolve Differences Quickly

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Today’s career advice comes from Tweet 134…

Settle disputes and resolve differences quickly.  Don’t let them drag on.  Engage the other person in meaningful conversation.

An article that appeared in the Wednesday May 9 2007 Business Day section of The New York Times made a clear point about the importance of resolving conflicts quickly.

“On March 23, Andrew N. Liveris, the chief executive of Dow Chemical, wrote a scathing performance review about one of his top lieutenants.

“‘I expect to see that your negative body language when you disagree with a course of action is eliminated,’ he wrote to the executive, Romeo Kreinberg, who ran the $21 billion performance plastics and chemical business portfolio.  ‘Frankly, your recent behavior was the last straw and I will not allow such destructive behavior to be repeated.’

“Mr. Liveris gave Mr. Kreinberg three months to change his behavior.  Otherwise, he warned, ‘I will have no choice but to sever your links with Dow.’”

From the sounds of it, Mr. Kreinberg is a poster boy for a lack of interpersonal incompetence.  “Negative body language”…“destructive behavior.”  It would have been fun — or depending on your position, hell — to be a fly on the wall in the meetings that led up to Mr. Liveris’ review of Mr. Kreinberg’s performance. 

In my experience, people who are so blatantly unaware (or uncaring) of the impact of their behavior on others, very seldom end up running $21 billion businesses.  Most never make it past the level of individual contributor or first level manager.

There is some simple, but powerful common sense career advice here.  If you can’t build and maintain strong relationships with the people in your organization; and if you can’t learn to deal with conflict in a positive manner, you are unlikely to become a life and career success

If you want to create the career success you deserve, realize that yoy have to continue working with the people with whom you occassionally find yourself in conflict.  Accept decisions that go against you graciously.  Pitch in and help make decisions work; even if you argued strenuously against those decisions before they were made.  Avoid “negative body language” and “destructive behavior” – for the good of your company, and your own career success

By the way, Mr. Liveris fired Mr. Kreinberg three weeks later for a non related issue – being “involved in unauthorized discussion with third parties about the potential acquisition of the company.”

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people follow the career advice in Tweet 134 in Success Tweets.  “Settle disputes and resolve differences quickly.  Don’t let them drag on.  Engage the other person in meaningful conversation.”  Don’t let your body language show how negative you feel about a decision or other person.  Don’t engage in destructive behaviors – actions that damage your reputation, your relationships and your company.  Instead address differences head on.  Resolve them quickly and move on.  Treat people with whom you disagree with dignity and respect.  This type of behavior will put you on the road to the life and career success you want and deserve.

That’s my take on the career advice in Success Tweet 134.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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