Conflict – there are those who avoid it as much as possible; those who seem to attract it wherever they go; those who thrive on it – and those who are adept at resolving any situation that confronts them - turning a negative into a positive! Which one are you??
For most people it's not the latter!
When it comes to managing conflict in the workplace we often rely on fundamental behaviours we learned early on as kids in the school-ground. It doesn’t take Einstein to work out these are immature techniques we are using, which have not been developed, matured and qualified. In fact, the reason most of us avoid conflict is because our experience with these early-learned techniques usually resulted in epic failure. The end result was often far worse than if we had just left it alone.
However, if we leave irritations unattended in the workplace we are demonstrating two things:
- I don’t have the backbone to deal with this;
- I don't support the rest of my team when I don’t address this;
If you want to create the kick-arse workplace everyone loves to work in then you need to deal with irritations, conflict and negativity when it first appears; demonstrating to everyone that this behaviour is not welcome in this workplace and won't be allowed to take hold.
How do we do this when we are really uncomfortable with confrontation and / or conflict??
When we have difficult conversations we need to focus on several key factors –
- Perspectives (your, theirs, everyone’s!)
- Remaining objective rather than subjective
- Regulating your emotions
- Body Language
These discussions don’t have to result in raised voices, accusations or dire consequences. It’s a matter of setting a culture in place which is consistent where all team-members understand what is acceptable and what isn’t. When we have consistency and clarity of expectations the team has each other’s back; when you deal with the irritation your team will have YOUR back.
It seriously doesn’t have to be that hard. When we avoid having difficult conversations with those who push the boundaries we are really only protecting ourselves – we are not protecting our team, our business, or our customer’s experience.
Take a quick look in the mirror – do you need to upskill yourself to dive into these conversations with minimal confrontation and more confidence? Join Shiift @ Lure – Abell Point Marina, 3rd April for our half-day Conflict Management Workshop and give yourself the tools and confidence you, your team, and your business will all benefit from.
Contact us for more information about our workshops and programs.
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