HAS YOURS BECOME A TOXIC WORKPLACE? How Do You Resolve Conflict At Work?

Remember that words matter. I caution people to be mindful about what they label a “conflict”. When we use this word we go into situations a bit more defensive and with heightened emotions. If someone steals your office supplies, this is really not a “conflict” situation- potentially a difficult or uncomfortable situation – maybe actually just a misunderstanding, but if you call it a conflict you immediately change the tone and dynamic of the communication. It’s always good to go into difficult situations with a clear idea of the outcome you’re looking for and lead with that.   Even when there is a real “conflict, it’s best to STOP- and figure out what you want from the other party or what you want the outcome to be before you engage further. If you focus on the end in mind, and state it upfront, sometimes it becomes evident that the other party wants that same thing, or that the parties are very far apart in their understanding of the situation and what they want to achieve. If you determine that both parties want the same thing- or something reasonable from each other, they can engage in civil communications. If the parties are too far apart, it is recommended to bring in a neutral 3rd party to mediate and negotiate a resolution.