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Help! Ten Ways to Resolve Workplace Conflict?!

If I can become wiser eating articles, I would.  But life’s never that easy.  Even I know I can’t change others, only myself.

A friend once said, “The average learns from others’ mistakes.  Idiots never learn.  Unresolved issues will resurface until given the proper attention they deserve.”

As I get older I’m supposed to be getting wiser, so remaining stupid is not an option — implementing ineffective conflict resolution techniques result in nothing but precious time wasted.

So what do you do when you work for an incompetent inner-city school principal lacking spine and leadership skills, where kids rule, who believes gossip can’t be helped — it’s just human nature?!

In desperation, I sought wisdom online.  I stumbled on ten helpful tips (I can certainly use more.  I’d greatly appreciate your input!):

  1. Be specific in formulating your complaints. “I’m never invited to meetings” is not as effective as “I believe I would have been able to contribute some ideas at last Thursday’s marketing meeting.”
  2. Resist the temptation to involve yourself in conflicts that do not directly involve you or your responsibilities.
  3. Try to depersonalize conflicts. Instead of a “me versus you” mentality, visualize an “us versus the problem” scenario. This is not only a more professional attitude, but it will also improve productivity and is in the best interests of the company (A coworker whom I respect and admire shared this priceless tidbit with me.  Her advice has been a life saver!).
  4. Be open and listen to others’ points of view and reflect back to the person as to what you think you heard. This important clarification skill leads to less misunderstanding, with the other person feeling heard and understood.
  5. Don’t always involve your superiors in conflict resolution.  (We’re adults.  We solve our problems — yeah right.  I wouldn’t be writing this post if I had all the answers.)
  6. If an extended discussion is necessary, agree first on a time and place to talk.  Take it outside and away from the group of inquisitive coworkers if they’re not involved in the problem (some, unfortunately, thrive on gossip).
  7. Limit your complaints to those directly involved in the workplace conflict. Character assassination is unwarranted.  “He missed last week’s deadline” is OK; “He’s a total idiot” is not.
  8. Know when conflict isn’t just conflict. If conflict arises due to sexual, racial, or ethnic issues, it’s harassment. Take action and discuss the problem with your supervisor or human resources department.
  9. Consider a mediator if the problem gets out of control, or if the issue is too emotional to resolve in a mutual discussion.
  10. Take home point: It’s not all about you — You may think it’s a personal attack, but maybe your co-worker is just having a bad day. Take time to think BEFORE you speak in response to an insensitive remark. It may be that saying nothing is the best response.

(Full Story)

Thoughts? 🙂

April 18, 2009 - Posted by | Attitude, Business, Change, Collaboration, Education, Gratitude, Heart, Leadership, Mind, Peace, Politics, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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