Manage the Conflict Before It Explodes
Conflict is “a difference of wants, needs, or expectations,” according to the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR) International. The workplace is fertile ground for conflict, because there are so many people from different backgrounds mixed together. Unresolved conflict results in stress, loss of productivity, and employee absenteeism. CCR International reports that back in the mid 1990s, managers were spending about 40 percent of their time addressing workplace conflicts. By the early 2000s, some executives were spending as much as 70 percent of their time on conflicts.
If you are in a work situation where high demands are placed on you for performance, but you have little control over your working conditions or decision making, or if you are working really hard and getting low rewards for your efforts, then you are among those most vulnerable to the symptoms of unresolved conflict. Here are some ways to manage conflict before it causes irreparable damage:
1. Catch It Early
As soon as you feel that something is out of balance, talk about it to the person who is involved with the conflict. For example, if you are having trouble concentrating on your work because the person in the next cubicle is chatting on personal phone calls throughout the day, ask if he or she would please take those phone calls out in the hallway. There is a chance that your coworker didn’t even realize that the calls were bothering you.
2. Use Neutral Language
When talking about a conflict, keep your words and tone of voice neutral rather than accusing or combative. For example, instead of accusing someone of stealing one of your ideas, you can say, “Doesn’t it really bother you when someone mentions an idea that was originally yours, but they make it sound like it was their idea?” Most likely, the person will agree with you. After you’ve got that shared platform of agreement, then you can say, “I felt a bit angry when you mentioned my idea in the meeting this morning and didn’t give me credit.” This type of approach will help make your coworker aware of his or her behavior, without making him or her an enemy. Again, there is a possibility that your coworker forgot he or she had originally heard that idea from you.
3. Don’t Assume
Jumping to conclusions can escalate a conflict or even make it appear that there is a conflict when there isn’t one. In the above-mentioned example, stress levels will be more manageable if you don’t automatically assume that your coworker intentionally took your idea. Also, CCR International reports that many people assume that no one else will understand their feelings or, if they do, won’t do anything about it. If you express your feelings in a professional manner, you might discover that others share your concerns and are willing to work out a solution.
4. Listen to Others
Even though you are feeling stressed out, try to focus on the other person’s perspective when talking about the problem. By carefully listening to others, you might be able to see things differently or realize that the whole situation was just a misunderstanding.
5. Stay on Course
As with any interpersonal conflict, remember to stick to the problem at hand. Don’t bring up previous issues or future issues that might not even happen. If there are multiple conflicts at your workplace, handle each separately, rather than overwhelming yourself and others with a list of grievances.
6. Follow Your Inner Guidance
While experiencing the stress of conflict, remember to listen to your body’s signals and to your intuition. Psychic Rose Mary ext. 9549 suggests paying attention to your breathing. “If you’re breathing up in your chest, chances are you’re angry, nervous, and anxious, pushing your mind off center.” Take a few deep breaths. “By breathing slowly, yoga teaches us, you can slow down your mind, emotions, and nervous system. Literally, you will think more clearly because of it.” Talk to Rose Mary to learn other ways you can connect to your inner guidance.
While you’re in that relaxed state, try this tip from Psychic Abrielle ext. 9894. “Ask yes/no questions to simple work problems by visualizing the color green for a ‘yes’ and the color red for a ‘no.’” This exercise can help you decide which direction to go next, in the process of addressing your conflict. Talk to Abrielle to learn more about how this technique can be used.
7. Ask for Help
If you are unable to resolve the conflict by yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your supervisor. If the problem lies with your supervisor, find out if someone in the company’s human resources department can act as a mediator between the two of you. If you’re considering leaving your job altogether, call one of our psychics to get an overview of your career path.
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