Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are You a Turtle, Shark, Teddy Bear, Fox, or Owl?

Am in Lenoir, NC, presenting a leadership program. We've been talking about the conflict leaders experience, and how followers experience and deal with the conflict leaders create.

How do you deal with conflict?

There are 5 conflict profiles:
- The Turtle immediately backs away from conflict. Unfortunately, if people get the idea that you are a Turtle they know that you will step bac, or fold, when conflict hits. Eventually, Turtles feel like doormats.
- The Shark immediately steps towards the conflict. Some Sharks have a "tear it up" attitude about conflict. This works in some situations, but if you are a Shark you'd better be careful; sooner or later you'll run into a bigger Shark.
- The Teddy Bear wants harmony. "We'll do it your way," should be their mantra. Somewhat like the Turtle they are often overwhelmed. But, the good thing about Teddy Bears is that they will usually stand up for the few things that really matter to them.
- The Fox is the compromiser. The Fox will give up a little, if you will give up a little. The Fox is often a manipulator.
- The Owl is the win-win person. The Owl is always trying to think through the conflict and find a way for everyone to win.

The first three categories; The Turtle, The Shark, The Teddy Bear, are all automatic reactions. The Fox and The Owl are higher orders of thinking.

Knowing how you address conflict can help you deal with it whn it comes, and help others handle it if you are creating it.

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