Have you ever been in a workplace conflict that caused you a lot of upset and stress that you knew could impact your health if you did not do something about it?
The challenges of interpersonal conflicts in working relationships are real. What’s rarely considered is the ability to transform those relationships to promote well-being and resilience in the workplace. I’ll be sharing how to do this in a keynote in Las Vegas this week at the INA conference and want to share some tips with my readers.
If you are facing a difficult work relationship, I want you to be clear on one thing. It doesn’t matter where you work, or whom you work with, conflict will happen. Conflict is not a bad thing; it is the common intersection between two different ideas, needs, interests, values, or beliefs. Conflict occurs and is resolved by you at work everyday without pain or upset.
Here are some examples of conflicts you resolve brilliantly. When your boss has a different idea than yours on how to accomplish a task and the two of you talk about it and come up with a plan you are both happy with; that is conflict resolution. When your co-worker does something silly and you cover for him or her to prevent a blow out; that is conflict resolution.
However, the conflicts I hear about are the ones that you struggle to resolve on your own. The conflicts that make you feel like an imposter in your own body because they challenge a primary belief or core value of yours. These are the artery bursting, blood pressure raising, anger infusing, mad like heck kinds of conflicts that you believe would defy the principles you live by. These are the conflicts you become positional about.
This is where my expertise as a Conflict Analyst is best utilized to help uncover the latent conflict such as values, ideologies, and beliefs and how they can be transformed into interpersonal resilience, wellness, and harmony in the workplace. Here are some quick tips to help you address your own conflicts at work.
- Early Intervention – Deal with a conflict as early as possible. Some people wait too long to address conflict and by then they are dealing with multiple unresolved issues that can bug down the process of resolution. Address it or forget it!
- Check Your position – Positions are the things you feel must be addressed for you to feel better about the situation. Everyone has positions so be ready to listen to the other person’s position too
- Share Needs and Interests – Focus on the shared needs and interests of both sides and talk about those more than about your positions.
- Work Off Frustrations – Physical activities like walking, jogging, or biking are great ways to let out conflict frustrations. Go for a walk at lunch time instead of fuming at your desk.
- Don’t Dehumanize – Often we think of the other person in a conflict in dehumanizing ways that makes it harder to address their needs and interests.
- Recharge Negative Energy – Check your thoughts and your energy vibrations and release negative with cleansing breaths.
Don’t be afraid of conflicts, they happen everyday, and you do have conflict resolution skills.
If you are looking for ways to turn those negative workplace conflicts around, contact me for keynote, staff intervention, workshop, or webinars.
Also, remember to join us for the 5th Annual Global Workplace Wellness Summit live, September 28-29, 2022, in Winnipeg, MB. Canada, a global gathering of professionals and experts in the field of workplace well-being who will discuss redefining wellness at work. Registration for early bird pricing ends May 31st.
Joyce Odidison is a corporate trainer, Conflict Analyst, Founder of the Global Workplace Wellness Summit, and Thought Leader and pioneer of the Wellness Competency teachings that transforms mindset and promotes behaviour modification for well-being at work. She is host of the What’s Happening at Work podcast.