After coaching in numerous companies of varying types and industries for many years one fascinating situation I encounter is meeting and working with people who often raise issues pertaining to conflicts that exist within their team, department or the overall organization. The topic arises as we explore what could or needs to change in order to make their position, work or attitude all that it can be in a positive way. Maximize the positivity around these things and one does a lot to clear their path to increased success, fulfillment and happiness.
It seems logical. Feeling unhappy or stressed because of an existing conflict? Address and change it. And yet, to my surprise, many choose to ignore or tolerate it rather than confront it. The thought is that by trying to ignore it … aka sweeping it under the carpet … it may go away and yet all too often it just doesn’t. The conflict that remains unaddressed is the start of the path that can lead to an all-consuming situation that ultimately can lead us to leave the job we otherwise love as our choice or another person’s. Eventually, it’s the mound created by what’s swept under the carpet that causes us to trip and fall and that simply can hurt … a lot.
Having disagreements among co-workers, with a boss or with a company philosophy or goal is normal. It arises when there are different ideas as to what or how we should be doing something. Your willingness to address it can offer significant rewards to all involved and the earlier this is done, the smaller the issue remains and major ruptures minimized. Here are some focus points that, when followed, will bring about the best possible outcome:
- Your Mindset:
How do you want to be when addressing the conflict? How do you want to be perceived and heard? How you present yourself in discussing the issue will have a lot to do with how your words will be received
- Your Demeanor:
Granted you’re upset and bothered by the situation and at the same time you want, above all, to be heard for what you have to relate. An angry or frustrated look and overall appearance is going to carry with them a message that can be counter-productive to what you want to achieve. Stay calm!!
- Your Focus:
The right focus of any discussion is the issue … and not the individual. Conflicts often arise because people have different ideas as to how something should be done and each involved person believes their approach is the right one. Avoid the accusatory words of you do (or did). Replace them with … “the problems of this approach or this methods is the following …”
- Your Listening Skill
You want to be listened to and heard just as the others do. It becomes an exercise in self-management as you set out to demonstrate your ability and willingness to listen and hear … the exact things that you want for yourself when presenting your thoughts. As listener, your job is to be intent on understanding another’s view and/or ideas rather thinking of your response to what is being said.
- Your Tone:
If you want positive reception with positive results, present your viewpoint in a positive manner. Negativity can quickly dissolve into a form of the blaming and once the communication goes there you are trapped in this negative place that will result in stonewalling and defensiveness.
- Your Determination:
At the forefront of your mind maintain a determination to do all that it will take to resolve the issue at hand. Being clear in your thoughts, ideas and reasoning. Be concise in your presentation. Be open to other’s approaches and above all remain positive and confident in your belief that you will arrive at an agreeable place that allows all involved to move forward in a positive manner.
- Your Openness to Creative Solutions:
The more open we can be in terms of the outcome we will derive, the more likely we are to arrive at a resolution that all Entering this arena with a preconceived idea of how it has to be will hamper both the progress and the results.
- Your acknowledgement and celebration of achievements
It’s all about moving forward and what reaching this new understanding enables you and other to do in terms of continuing down a positive path. No hesitance to dance around the progress made!
Granted … it is often attractive and easier to sweep something aside that’s bothersome as ‘no big deal’ in the scheme of things. And while we don’t look to make mountains out of mole hills, when we continue to rationalize something as being ‘not that important’ we can suddenly awaken to the reality that we have many unaddressed issues that have overtaken the positives of the work we do and the job we have. From my standpoint, I have yet to derive something positive from using the broom as it’s at best, only a temporary fix that can come to haunt us.