Deal With Workplace Conflict?
Tips for Managing Workplace Conflict
Direct Discussion - How to Approach a
Co-worker Why We Avoid
Dealing With Conflict
Are All Conflicts the Result of Personality
Clashes or Poor Behaviour
Communicating in Conflict
Managing Anger - Yours and Others
Being Hard on the Problem - Not the Person
The Role of Assumptions, Perceptions and
Expectations in Conflict
Why We Avoid Dealing with
People often have many fears around
engaging in direct dialogue with others about conflict. We all have our
own history of experience with conflict that was first formed in our
family and expanded at school and in the workplace. For some of us
- have largely
involved displays of anger, with yelling and insults – an experience
you want to avoid,
- appear to be an
inevitable part of the human condition; that conflict is never
productively resolved, or
- involve pursuing
what we want as vigorously as possible, as that is the only way to
get what you need.
The following fears or responses to
conflict are common:
- What if talking
about it makes it worse, rather than better?
- What if he doesn’t
listen to me?
- What if he/she yells
- Why stir up
trouble? It will probably resolve itself on its own.
Negotiating openly with others around
what we want and need is not modeled or encouraged in our society.
courage to honestly and clearly articulate your needs, and
it takes courage to sit down and listen to your adversaries.
courage to look at your own role in the dispute, and it
takes courage to approach others with a sense of empathy,
openness and respect for their perspective.”
It is not surprising that direct
discussion with the other party is often not considered until other
options have proved unsuccessful or the conflict becomes intolerable.
So while the avoidance of direct discussion is understandable, the
effective management of conflict in the workplace requires us to
overcome our discomfort and learn to discuss differences directly.