1. Read the article and decide whether the statements (1–8) are true (T) or false (F).
Mark Gerzon believes that conflict exists in nearly every part of life. Conflict can occur when people work together. Leaders need to understand only one part of the company. Twentieth-century leaders rarely accepted responsibility for their mistakes. People who disagree with management feared they will lose their jobs. Good mediators are likely to be respected by staff. Using mediation to resolve conflict takes time. A competitive team needs one good leader.
Understand your team and the rest is easy
Mark Gerzon, author of «Leading Through Conflict: How Successful Leaders Transform Differences into Opportunities», has noticed that most things in life involve conflict.
Some of these conflicts emerge when people come together from different backgrounds where views, cultures and beliefs may not be shared by their colleagues. Today some 63,000 companies are operating internationally, employing 90 million people and responsible for a quarter of the world's gross national product.
'We simply cannot manage a whole company, a whole community, and certainly not a whole planet, with leaders who identify with only one part.' he writes. He therefore believes that future corporate leaders will need to be experts in mediation rather than the controlling style of leaders which was apparent during the 20th century.
These controlling leaders always blamed someone else for failures and achieved success only because employees were frightened of losing their jobs. Sadly such methods still exist in some companies. Similarly, people who question management in companies where employee morale is very low are seen as trouble makers and are often dismissed by the company. But suppose they have a point? Trouble makers are likely to respect a leader with good mediation skills because they feel that someone is listening to their complaints.
One problem with mediation in leadership is that it takes time, something this highly competitive world has little of. That is why the most competitive teams need individuals who are all capable of leadership. People need to talk all the time about their various tasks and work towards the same objective, and any conflicts should be managed in a way that does not disrupt the harmony of the team.
By Richard Donkin
From the Financial Times