Last week I was delighted to be a workshop presenter at the HBA Conference in Philadelphia. The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association is filled with many of the brightest executive women I have met.
The key to the success of the two day program is the care and constant tending the presenters get once they have been chosen. Interestingly, I mused about this after the conference and realized it was the way women have behaved for eons.
We are, in general, nurturers. And while I am conscious of this pattern to care-take when sponsoring our own workshops, I was especially alert to the fact that HBA is done by women for women and how totally nourished I felt on my way home.
The other aspect of the conference that struck me was how difficult it still is for women to confront conflict. In my sessions the focus was on courageous conversations and looking at communication patterns.
When I asked who was comfortable with conflict, nary a hand went up. When I asked for words that come to mind when the word conflict comes up they were “upset, anger, disappointment, betrayal” and the like.
Yet, when I talked about conflict as a positive force for creativity and trust building, there was a light in the room and we moved forward rapidly. By the end of the sessions there was a commitment to stare conflict in the face and not be so intimidated anymore.
If we, as women leaders can get a better handle on the positive side of conflict and how to find the words to move uncomfortable and difficult situations forward, we will be doing one of the most important jobs on the planet.
In the workshop, I offered a five set process that leads to a touchdown for conflict success. I have put this in a white paper that is “hot off the press” and you can get a copy by sending an email to me at [email protected].
I also suggest if you are in healthcare you check out the HBA conference for next year. And many fascinating ways to make conflict into a creative force will be tackled in the WELL program I am leading for women in business in February.