No matter how hard we try to prevent them, conflicts will arise in one form or another. While that’s perfectly healthy in any relationship, it’s when these conflicts are not resolved that things can turn messy – be it at work or with your partner.
While most of us keep the office and our private lives strictly separate, there are numerous ways in which relationship advice can help us solve conflicts at work. After all, couples who learn how to solve their problems will be able to reduce their stress levels significantly. And that’s goes for issues at work, too.
Here are some practical tips on how to approach your workplace conflicts.
Say your peace and listenA common reason for conflicts is miscommunication. While it’s necessary to voice your opinion and frustration, it’s equally important to let your partner/colleague do the same. The key to solving problems of any kind will always start with getting a near-complete overview of what’s going on, as chances are high that the other person might not even be aware of your side of the story.
However, you shouldn’t try to solve any issue in the heat of the moment. Take a step back and schedule some time with your colleague to talk (and listen) in a respectful manner. Once you both have said your peace, you can work towards resolving the issue in a way that works for both of you.
Take a deeper look at the bigger pictureOnce you have talked with your partner/colleague about what you believe is a problem, don’t immediately jump to conclusions. Analyse and detect the underlying worries and issues that may contribute to the problem you’re trying to solve. It’s important to keep an open mind, as the reason for the conflict might actually be a something else. For instance, your colleague might try to micromanage you not because your work quality is poor, but perhaps because he/she is under pressure and worried about meeting the deadline for the project.
Talk about how you feel – not the action itselfSometimes the act of trying to solve a conflict can make things even worse. This is because your partner/colleague might take offence to your criticism. If you’re dealing with an especially sensitive person, you should try to avoid talking directly about actions. Instead, focus on how a certain action makes you feel. For instance, instead of declaring your colleague a bossy and demanding person to work with, it’s more productive to talk about how that behaviour impact you emotionally. These statements will still tackle the root of the problem, but won’t call your partner/colleague directly into question.
Refrain from generalisingIn the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get carried away and accuse people of doing a certain action ‘always’ or ‘never’. While it might feel that way, this accusation can easily lead to more potential conflict. Don’t put your partner on the defensive with unhelpful generalisations. Try to stay objective and focus on what’s actually going on.
Do keep in mind that not every conflict needs to be fought. So, be smart and pick your battles. Be it at home or in the office, a healthy relationship is always based on balance – not domination.