Very few people enjoy being the bad guy. While certain temperaments (or personalities) seemingly handle making hard decisions and enforcing them with ease, that doesn’t make it any more comfortable for them. I am one of those people.
The benefits of having a well-organized, strategic ability to see a situation is that it allows me to devise a plan of action that will produce results, hopefully quickly, to either turn a failing situation around or increase an already successful one to the next level. I am able to look beyond the emotional and personal attachments, or past experiences, that often cloud the decision-making process for others. That doesn’t mean people like myself, often called “D” or dominant personalities, don’t feel as much as everyone else. Many strong leaders have D tendencies, which is part of what draws people to them and helps them lead others. Leaders who are selected to “be the bad guy” because they appear to handle it better will do what has to be done – then deal with the emotional tension of it privately. They don’t thrive on it – they just have learned that it is better to be straightforward and honest and deal with reality, so that in the long run everyone will be better for it. LEARNED – yes, perhaps we are better at some aspects of conflict resolution, but it does not mean that a non-D can’t learn to handle conflict just as successfully.
Sometimes, life is tough. We allow bad habits to rule because it is easier than confronting them. We fail to sit down and have “the talk” that we know we need to have, because it will be painful. We choose to ignore the fact that our business is headed for the rocks, because it is going to take a lot of effort, and perhaps a change of crewmembers, to change course. Deep down, we also know that the longer we let these things go, the more difficult it is going to be. The resolution to our conflict starts with facing that the conflict exists, then deciding how to take action on it that is the most beneficial and the least interruptive. As a leader, you need to do this. As a person desiring success in ANY area of your life, you need to do this. And you can. There is no shame in needing some outside help to make it happen. That is what executive coaching is for. Make it happen – get to the next level.