Conflict arises when it’s unclear who can make decisions or if choices related to that decision aren’t in alignment with goals, writes Marlene Chism. “Better decision-making means better choices, and better choices means better conflict management, and better conflict management means higher productivity and less stress,” she writes.



Where there is unresolved or mismanaged conflict, connect the dots to see how the issues relate to ineffective decision-making or misaligned choices. When leaders understand the power of decision-making and the ripple effect of choices, they can shape the culture, drive growth and reduce costly mistakes.

This post highlights three ways leaders make poor decisions and how to make better ones.

Lack of clarity

When employees (or leaders) aren’t clear about who makes the decision and what the decision-making process is, boundaries get crossed and misunderstandings escalate into high conflict.

When faced with conflict, it’s common to jump to a solution too fast. Action before clarity leads to making wrong decisions — for example, moving someone around to a different department to reduce conflict instead of having a difficult conversation about behavior.

Another example is offering a workshop for disruptive employees when the real issue is leadership development.