Fight or flight - ignore or ignite! How do you cope with conflict???
Did you know most of us still use the same techniques we learned in the schoolyard - that's why we are so bad at it! As we grow up some of our coping techniques don't get built upon and allowed to mature with on. Unfortunately, conflict is one of those skills we just don't see a need to strengthen during our teen years and beyond. It's just easier not to cause it. Conflict in the workplace is often unavoidable, but conflict can be a great ally. Why?? Because we find out so much information from the person standing in front of us turning red in the face.
What can we learn about them?
- What things are important to them
- What personality type irritates them
- What expectations they have on other people - & are they realistic
- What expectations they have of the workplace - & are they realistic
- What triggers them
- What they value
- How they cope with stress
- & listen hard - you will hear the key words you can use to connect with them
If this sounds like hard work, it isn't. There is so much information to gain when dealing with conflict. However, the greatest management tool is preventing conflict before it even happens. Being able to identify potential conflict puts you in the 'gold class' area of management skills and helps create a workplace environment everyone loves to work in. Learn to identify some of the following and you will diffuse potential conflict easily:
- Personality types which naturally irritate each other - who are they and how do you manage them
- Resources which cause people to fight over them - photo-copier, newest tools, coffee machine, best I.T.
- Organisational power - "I'm best friends with the owner!"
- Key words and body language which trigger bad reactions in your team-members - "with all due respect . . . I think you suck . . ."
- Personal values - "I value professionalism at all costs; you value near enough is good enough . . . "
- Previous bad experiences - "This is what happened at my last workplace right before they sacked someone!"
Take the time to think about the people in your workplace. By knowing the answers to some of those points above you can help manage potential conflict much more effectively. And your efforts won't go unnoticed by your team-mates; less conflict means greater happiness in the workplace - which means we are happy to just get on with our job and get things done.
For more information register your interest for our next Conflict Management Event - 13th August @ Lure, 08:30-12:30.
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