Executives contribute to conflict by communicating ambiguously, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Most of us want to avoid conflict, but we can sometimes “talk out of both sides of our mouths” and give mixed messages. Such ambiguous communication fosters an organizational climate that discourages commitment (at best) and promotes conflicts (at worst).
I’m not saying executives do this on purpose (although some do). But highly educated people are skilled in the language of diplomacy and often try to address the needs and desires of a wide audience. In trying to please everyone, they craft message that border on double-speak.
This is more of an explanation but not a rationalization and it certainly isn’t a good excuse.
Leaders need to be more direct, frank and clear. I’d like to see more executives stand up and remove the barriers to candor. Why don’t more of them tell it like it really is?
Many executives are sitting too close to the blackboard to see their communication errors. An unbiased professional coach or consultant can spot weaknesses and help correct approaches that contribute to conflict.