Better rhythm of manager to direct report communication. It is critical that all managers meet with direct reports at least once a month. When you have a clear structure, the one on ones become more of a connection. This is an opportunity to learn about them as a person, and allows the chance to identify and resolve conflict ahead of it becoming a larger issue.
An important component of leadership is conflict resolution. Why is conflict resolution so important? How can leaders effectively incorporate conflict resolution into their work culture? In this interview series called “Workplace Conflict Resolution: How Team Leaders Can Create The Right Environment To Resolve Conflicts,” we are talking to business leaders who can share insights and anecdotes from their experience about how to implement Conflict Resolution at work. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Nick Scarabosio.
Nick Scarabosio, cofounder and coach of Culture to Cash has 15+ years in real estate management and 10+ experience as a gym owner. He focuses his efforts on coaching companies to run effectively, by implementing strategic systems and processes to make businesses hyper focused and hyper efficient.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
The origination of Culture to Cash was a natural evolution for me. I first discovered my passion for coaching while working in the fitness industry. Throughout my career, I have developed my natural ability and skills to help business owners grow and succeed. I have worked in various fields and industries coaching and guiding people to perform to their highest potential.
Now as a Culture to Cash cofounder and coach, I am able to apply my true purpose and passion for coaching business owners, like myself, to gain more freedom and autonomy.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I do not believe that there is one story that stands out the most in the last 20 years of business, working in multiple industries. However, there is absolutely a theme…as people, we are awful at managing people. The most difficult part of being a business owner from real estate, property , management to fitness gym owner, business coach is that we are not properly trained on how to better lead people. Not manage. You can take a management course or a college class, but leadership is a skill that is learned and earned, no one is born with it. So, if there is one common storyline from my own experience and working with clients, it is that becoming a leader, becoming a coach of your people should be your #1 priority.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
Memento mori, a latin quote, that translates to, remember you must die. This symbolic trope reminds us all to take advantage of the time we have in life, and how limited it can be. If you’re not enjoying what you do, if you’re not working for purpose and passion, you have the opportunity to switch.
After working in the real estate and property management space for 15+ years, I realized I had external success, but internally, I was miserable. I made the decision to Memento mori and work towards internal gratification.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
At Culture to Cash, we take a people first approach. We understand the need for companies to grow revenue, but that does not light us up if that’s the business owners sole focus. We aim to work with the people to perform at their highest level, by identifying and supporting their natural abilities.
For example, we have a client who has a division located on a Native American reservation. Throughout working with them, we have watched a group of individuals who were originally stubborn to evolve technologically, overcome their internal challenges to embrace new advancements, which led to their division displaying a desire to learn more and improve overall. Ultimately, that division became a company leader.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Humility. Remain humble and consistently check in with mentors and advisors to learn and grow.
Passion. The willingness to actually pursue your own passion. We’re raised in a day and age where there’s too much being told what we should do, societal expectations. You must pursue happiness.
Drive. The desire to keep going; improving not only yourself but others around you
Leadership often entails making difficult decisions or hard choices between two apparently good paths. Can you share a story about a hard decision or choice you had to make as a leader?
This applies to every industry I’ve worked in, multiple times I’ve had to make the sometimes difficult decision to let people go. It is important to remember that it shouldn’t matter what you personally think of them, it’s if they get the job done. Your aha moment will be 3,6 or even 12 months down the line, where you’ll realize that person is happier.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. Let’s start with a basic definition so that all of us are on the same page. What does Conflict Resolution mean?
Conflict resolution is the process of guiding two or more parties through a tough situation to find a solution.
What are some common misunderstandings about Conflict Resolution that are important to clear up?
Conflict resolution in many cases is not a catastrophic situation. Conflicts are typically smaller issues that grow to become bigger issues. Far too often, we lose sight of the main piece inside of the conflict.
Another common misconception is because there’s a resolution, doesn’t mean one party is wrong. Each party could be proposing an incorrect solution at that given time.
This might be intuitive to you, but it will be helpful to clearly express this. Can you please explain why it is so important for leaders to learn and deploy conflict resolution techniques?
I’m a big believer that the motto, leaders are born not made, is absolutely untrue. The art of leadership is learned, and our number one thing as a leader is our ability to bring people up. When employees get into conflict, it’s the leader’s job to help their employees reach the next level and guide them to resolve the issue.
Success for companies can be directly attributed to its employees and culture. Oftentimes people do not quit their jobs because of the work, it’s because of bad management. When business leaders learn conflict resolution, it allows them a better ability to identify and delpoy techniques, which can help them avoid losing their vital team members.
On the flip side, what happens to a work culture when there is not an effective way of resolving conflict? How does it impact employees?
Without an effective way of resolving conflict will quickly impact work culture negatively; affecting employees first. You’ll rapidly notice a lack of quality performance, which then turns into an apathy of being at work. Employees will become disengaged, take sick time, miss meetings and deadlines. This has become widely known as the phenomenon of quiet quitting.
Can you provide examples of how effective conflict resolution has led to increased team performance, collaboration, or innovation within your organization?
When we notice consistent conflict, we look at people, the roles and jobs they hold and do. We make the difficult decision of assessing the employees fit within the organization. By making these changes, the outcome is a resolution between the employee and the role with the company, rather than their direct manager. It is important to evaluate whether the person is a great fit for the organization, or a bad fit for the role they are in. The flip side can be true. Removing a person with adequate skills, but not a great culture fit, improves the natural flow of organization or team that person was on.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Ways Every Team Leader Can Create The Right Environment To Resolve Conflicts”? If you can, please share specific examples of a workplace conflict you’ve encountered, and how you applied conflict resolution techniques to address it.
1. Personality profile and assessments. Often, the issue is a misunderstanding of the person or employee and what makes them perform their best abilities. When you do not understand what drives and motivates your team, you’re unable to communicate properly. We have helped many teams identify that conflict wasn’t a skill issue, but the person was severely unhappy with their role, believing they should hold a higher position. If this is the case, we recommend mapping out the process to get to that position.
2 . Better rhythm of manager to direct report communication. It is critical that all managers meet with direct reports at least once a month. When you have a clear structure, the one on ones become more of a connection. This is an opportunity to learn about them as a person, and allows the chance to identify and resolve conflict ahead of it becoming a larger issue.
3 . Monthly surveying of all employees of an organization, try implementing the Net Promoter Score (NPS), the measurement of employee loyalty. What it does exactly is on a simple scale of 1–10, measures the happiness of your team.
4 . Clear roles and responsibilities and clear jobs and scorecards. Many unhappy employees believe they are being micromanaged. They are often unclear on roles and responsibilities, or metrics of performance. They end up unhappy when work is taken away when they think it’s their responsibility. Even if their superior’s intention is to help, this can come off as the other party feeling slighted.
5 . Create a culture of coaching. From the top down and bottom up, peer mentor coach. Assign each team member someone they can speak to and ask questions, get feedback from. This person should not be their manager. This is the chance for employees to be heard and voice their opinion. This method can also help them to learn and grow skills.
In your experience, what are the most common sources of conflict within a team, and how do you proactively address these potential issues before they escalate?
The most common sources of conflict are unclear roles and responsibilities. When things are going wrong in a business, it’s by nature the owner or leaderships intent to dive in and help, but not framed properly comes off as we don’t trust our employees.
No place system or rhythm to communicate. We have a hard time as human beings to be open and vulnerable, so if there’s not a culture or system in place to voice opinions and frustrations, it can trigger or cause a bigger issue and disruption.
If you are not building a culture, you don’t have a team. Just a bunch of paid mercenaries. Building a healthy culture is necessary for any business.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Peer coach movement. Every individual and organization has a peer coach whose goal is to help them to become better. Prior to the early 1900s, people did not go to school, we learned everything through peers and mentorship, directly from others. This is a natural human behavior that’s proven to show results.