Six Secrets to Successfully Conquer Conflicts
ever hear these comments at the office?
Stop listening to my personal conversations!”
“Quit taking credit for my
“That’s my parking space!”
“Why don’t you start doing
your fair share of the work?”
just a few of the different types of employee interaction that can
create conflict and cause tension in the workplace.
Such tension and turmoil among employees, if not quickly dealt
with, can rapidly spread throughout the ranks and distract many from
work-related duties. Here are
six secrets to successfully conquer conflicts:
1. Consider conflict an opportunity not a curse: Conflict is a
character building and interpersonal communications improvement
opportunity. We all have
blind spots, preconceived ideas, personal peculiarities and tendencies
that can make us hard to deal with at times.
Being able to identify other character types and communication
styles is beneficial for us, though it may not always be easy.
respond to conflict naturally and with openness.
In so doing you will disarm the aggressor and show yourself to
be a reasonable human being. To
do otherwise will only further antagonize the angered party.
As you listen, ask for more information as to the true source
of the conflict. You will
find that what seemed to be the initial problem was merely
superficial. In such
situations conflict becomes a learning experience for both of you.
2. Respect and don’t reject people regardless of your disagreement:
Separate the person from the behavior.
Remember we all come from different backgrounds, upbringings
and environments that have shaped and molded us.
We are all continually changing and evolving.
Give people room to grow as they come to a greater level of
self-awareness. As you do
and they discover how gracious you’ve been to them, they will become
the most loyal employees or co-workers you will ever have.
This is true empowerment.
3. Acknowledge and confess any contributory negligence: Conflict always
begins within. We must
judge ourselves first. We
often judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.
This is to say we don’t typically use fair weights, standards
and measures when we judge others.
If we were
brutally honest with ourselves, we would find that in every conflict
we have somehow contributed to it through what we have said or left
unsaid. Neglecting to
affirm your employees after work well done is as negligent behavior as
them forgetting to get the work done.
We all hunger for recognition and praise.
Management must honor and recognize people for their
performance. To avoid
employee departures and high turnover, we must acknowledge their
in the midst of all our efforts to be increasingly productive and
profitable, we are not personable and can be offensive to one another.
Recognize such times and apologize for being that way.
By acknowledging and apologizing for wrong doing you are taking
responsibility and encouraging everyone to be responsible.
Suddenly people will begin to humble themselves and confess
their own faults. When
this happens employee morale and productivity will skyrocket.
4. Formulate what you want to say and how you will say it: Remember it
is not only what you say, but how you say it.
The manner and tone by which you express yourself will
determine the level of receptiveness with which it is received.
Receiving constructive criticism is never easy, but it can be
bearable if the person giving it is kind, affirming and sincere.
Start soft by affirming the person’s good qualities and your
working relationship before proceeding to find fault and correct.
Build on strengths and proceed from a place of agreement.
Compliment and praise before providing constructive criticism.
5. Avoid premature assumptions: Premature and erroneous assumptions
hinder management and employee morale and diminish the company.
Don’t take for truth what others say.
Instead go to the source and have an open conversation.
Get things out in the open and speak face to face respectfully.
6. Speak with positive expectation believing the best: Stating your
feelings with positive expectation pulls people to the level of
performance you desire. For
example, “William, you’ve always done a great job of giving your
all in every account. As
of late however you seem to not quite be yourself.
Is there anything I can do to help?
I want to see you succeed and be your personal best.
Know I am fully committed to you as you are to this company.”
Affirming a person and your expectations of their success will
endear a person to you and cause them to want to live up to your
wishes. Remember, in
conflict you can win a battle and lose the war.
sense of humor and unconditional acceptance.
You don’t have to always resolve your disagreements and
conflicts to thrive. Sometimes
you have to accept people as they are, realizing they may never
personal preference do not need to take preeminence in your working
relationship. Keep things
in their proper place and don’t unnecessarily take offense at
another’s approach, manner of reasoning or way of logically (or
illogically) processing a situation.
Employ your sense of humor and unconditional acceptance of
others and you will get far greater results and work productivity at
the end of the day.
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