We all know what the work place can do to us. We know that when all engines are “full steam ahead,” magic can happen! When all employees are chasing after the same goal and their unison with one another is at an all time high, things really look bright. The same can be said about the opposite though. People take their own paths, make their own decisions that aren’t theirs to make, and claim to “know-it-all,” then the ship starts to steer itself in a different direction. Discord is created in the workplace and tempers start to flare. Words are exchanged and your business stops moving. In my experience, a business not in motion is a dead one. Let me help you skip death and always stay in the light!
Conflict in the workplace isn’t good or bad – it all depends on the outcome and how it’s dealt with. It is closely related to criticism. When said in a positive viewpoint, change is easier to construct. When said negatively, a person tends to shut down. Therefore, with both of these concepts, it totally relies on the people in the situation, not the situation itself. Conflict can be constructive or destructive. You can choose to build a city or destroy it. Put out a fire or let it burn. Both have outcomes that you’ll have to deal with at a later time, so it’s important to choose a strategy that minimizes destructive behavior and encourages constructive outlooks.
There are always signs that you can look for in people that will help guide the way you manage them. Here are a couple of types that I’ve seen in my business days that you can probably relate to.
- Corner Dweller – This type refuses to listen, hence the name. They often feel trapped and without a voice, unhappy and frustrated.
- Glass half empty – This person never wants to add positivity to the group. Simply states all the things that are “wrong” while offering zero help. Never happy and always complaining.
- The Smoocher – A teacher’s pet if you will. Jumps however high the boss wants, but not out of passion. This person creates mistrust and manipulates others to their advantage.
These are just a handful of people you may encounter in the workplace. Conflict and competition in the workplace adds challenges and gives employers the opportunity to either rise or fall to the occasion. There would be fewer chances for creative thinking, breakthroughs, and company growth. But in order for these ideals to thrive in the workplace, everyone must understand what the goals are of the company, be willing to put forth the necessary efforts to accomplish those goals, and be ready to support others in the company’s goal pursuits.
Do you know the style in which you manage? Are you able to pinpoint when you “get it right” and when you “mess up?” Understanding how to talk and manage people will help create the best possible outcome for conflict resolution. It doesn’t matter the situation, so long as you can effect change as an outcome. Think of a lake – a violent splash creates lots of waves and disturbs the rest of the water. However, a gentle tap on the water and lake all moves with the same rhythm. I’ve been around the block plenty of times and tried lots of different ways to solve problems. Some people bark orders and lead with force. Some compromise too much and ultimately leave the decision in the employer’s hands. For me, it’s all about problem solving. What’s happening? What’s the give and take? What’s the end game? Make people feel valued while giving precise direction. My business runs with this concept – it produces long-standing results, happy employees, and work productivity. It’s pretty simple when you get down to it. Respect needs to be apparent on both ends. How you deal that respect is the tricky part.
It’s important to remember that when we feel stuck in a nearly hopeless situation, we always have choices. Sometimes they aren’t choices we like, but they are always there. Your business is your family. Arguments will happen and tempers will spark. But do you like being yelled at on a regular basis or, with strict instruction and guidance, be shown how something works? I know the answer I chose as a kid and still to this day. The only thing that uses force when drilling is a jackhammer into concrete. The brain isn’t concrete so there’s no need to use that much force. The brain is a sponge and needs to be soaked with information, not drilled. Force is needed temporarily, but not at the normal state of mind. Find your balance in the workplace and always find the good in conflict. #Business101