Work place Conflicts: Three Free and Easy Tips to Quickly Diffuse every situation
As happens in work environments where people are not only busy, but also passionate about what they do, disagreements can occur. And this is healthy. There would be something wrong if we agreed with each other all the time. Conflicts are likely to occur when people are not just busy, but overloaded and on top of this – unsupported.
What if the individuals concerned, in addition to working in a stressful work environment, were experiencing personal or family difficulties also? It’s like a pot of water on an open fire, if fuel is continually poured on the fire, the pot will eventually boil over! So how can we spot the tell-tale signs and avert a bad situation from getting worse?
Have a look at the following exercise and you can work your way through it:
First, let’s begin with the first perspective, your perspective .
Consider that you are involved in an argument or disagreement with a colleague at work;
What is your position or perspective? How do you see things from where you are? Ask yourself:
- ‘What were my actions?’
- ‘What do I think of my actions?’
- ‘What do I feel about my contribution to this situation?’.
It is crucial to gain clarity about your ‘position’. (Dare to be frank and honest with yourself!)
This is the other person’s perspective; the colleague you are in argument with.
Imagine yourself in their shoes, ‘step’ into their shoes and look at you.
- How does it feel seeing things (and seeing you) from this perspective?
- What new insights does this give you?
- What feelings come up for you?
3rd person position
This is the ‘fly on the wall perspective’. Imagine yourself as a ‘fly on the wall’, seeing these two colleagues arguing at work.
What do you hear? What do you see / notice? How does it feel? Ask:
- ‘What do I think about their actions?
- What do I feel about their behaviour?’
From this perspective you can more easily see steps and ways/ suggestions for how to move forward.
By going through this 3 stage process, can you see what’s already happening? Firstly you tap into your subjective feelings, then step out of yourself and become more (and more) objective.
By doing this, you put some distance between you and the strong feelings. It is actually quite a mature and responsible act, and allows you to be able to reach a more reasonable solution and workable way of moving forwards.
This strategy is one that is useful for all of us, as we can all find ourselves in situations where it might be useful to think ‘out of the box’. With practice this strategy becomes easier to implement. And the rewards are many fold.
It is of particular use to managers and those in supervisory positions (who are ultimately charged to resolve such conflicts), as it enables us to work towards a resolution by encouraging each party to thoroughly consider the other persons’ perspective. More than just being useful in resolving conflicts, it can be a tool for team building.
This of course, is a strategy that can also be applied to conflicts in the home.
By applying these tips, you’ll find that you have a handy tool that can help you find relief in fraught situations.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and of course I have more tips to share so let me know what you’d like to read about.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/47383196@N00/493213094″>Day 40: Beauty is pain</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/34427470616@N01/2742394208″>one</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49968232@N00/5113618375″>Bingo Number 3</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>