The Worst Way To Deal With Conflict
At times, conflict can get messy, especially in a professional setting. This article will help enable you to smoothly work your way through a workplace conflict and may guide others in the right direction as well.
First, to understand how to resolve a conflict, you need to be able to recognize it, and why it’s important to resolve it. While there’s nothing simple about conflict, it can be summed up as a disagreement or threat, which can be triggered by emotions, personal perspective, values, and often times, personal experiences.
Say, for example, you and a co-worker are on a tight deadline to complete a budget. While you’re starting to feel anxious about the impending deadline, you think your partner is being just a bit too relaxed about everything. You confront them; they get defensive; and there you have it. Conflict.
So what would make it so important to resolve this conflict that it couldn’t wait, say, until next week?
Well, your budget is due in two days and if the two of you aren’t on the same page, it could be detrimental for yourselves, and your employer. This is why it’s imperative that you recognize conflict and work toward a resolution. Now for many in a situation like this, there can be a plethora of ways it’s handled.
However, there’s one way you need to make sure it’s not handled: “Avoiding It”.
Back to the example for a moment: rather than confront your partner, imagine you just brushed it off and kept brushing it off. One possible outcome of that is not getting the budget ready at all, or possibly being ill-prepared to present it. Or perhaps, after the confrontation, neither of you wanted to work things out, so you thought you’d just “let it go”.
Letting it go can lead to more issues like tension between the two of you, loss of focus and stress. Tension could create ongoing issues in the workplace. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than feeling tension in a room full of people, or with the person you work directly across from.
Additionally, allowing conflicts to dwell amongst others can lead to a loss of focus as you might find yourself thinking about it all the time. The more you let it eat at you, the less likely you’ll be able to move on to other priorities.
At times, you might even try to avoid other people altogether. You might be missing out on some of your favorite gatherings or extracurricular activities because there’s that one person you don’t want to cross paths with. Missing out on this could lead to missing out on your job in general, as the rising tension could start creating personal problems that keep you out of the office.
Let’s Be Blunt
If you’re not working, you’re not making much-needed income to provide for yourself and in some cases, your family. Do you think that situation would be stressful? Does it stress you out, just thinking about it? Because stress is the only thing “avoiding conflict” can create for you.
Many who identify themselves as non-confrontational often carry the feelings that come from avoiding conflict home with them, and the snowball effect could make it start all over again. Hopefully, you understand the negatives that come with conflict avoidance. It’s just not worth it.
Benefits of Finding Resolution
But the benefits of resolving conflict, awe man, those are awesome! Let’s get back to our example. You’ve confronted your partner (in a respectful and courteous way, of course). While they’ve gotten a bit defensive, you’re both ready to get this behind you and get back to work.
Rather than bicker back and forth about workloads, assigning tasks, and who gets to present the best cost-saving line items, you’re putting your heads together and this budget is looking promising.
You see, resolving conflict appropriately and within a timely manner far exceeds the challenges you’ll face while getting there. Conflict is a natural part of human interaction and even though it’s technically a con, it’s not always a bad thing. In fact, without it, we might not come up with some of our strongest and most creative ideas.
Conflict helps us change for the better and grow as people and professionals. So, embrace conflict, don’t run from it! Your next argument could produce a stroke of genius!
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