Did you ever play a game as a child when you made up the rules as you went along? I’m guessing that those evolving rules often proved to be a source of contention!

Leaders at work find the same to be true. When managers decide to disregard their moral compass as the official business handbook, they begin to make up the rules as they move along. Anything can happen, and the situation frequently proves to be a source of conflict.

The prediction is clear: The U.S. presidential campaign is one of the nastiest and divisive in history. Both political parties are working overtime to convince us the opposition is not only bad for the country, but they are immoral people, too.

While most workplaces are safe havens from political discussions, the effect of the high-volume bombardment of toxic “we-them” and “us-they” rhetoric can ooze into daily work. The mind-numbing result: If people don’t think like me they must be stupid. (Or at a minimum, I shouldn’t trust them.)

It’s painful: While every leader knows their organization will only win when the workforce is energized, few know how to accomplish this. With over 20 years of supporting leaders in major multinational companies, we’ve observed 3 common mistakes – and identified the steps essential to transforming the behaviors within an organization.

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