While conflict is a normal part of any social and organizational setting, the challenge of conflict lies in how one chooses to deal with it. Concealed, avoided or otherwise ignored, conflict will likely fester only to grow into resentment, create withdrawal or cause factional infighting within an organization.
So, what creates conflict in the workplace? Opposing positions, competitive tensions, power struggles, ego, pride, jealousy, performance discrepancies, compensation issues, just someone having a bad day, etc. While the answer to the previous question would appear to lead to the conclusion that just about anything and everything creates conflict, the reality is that the root of most conflict is either born out of poor communication or the inability to control one’s emotions. Let’s examine these 2 major causes of conflict:
Communication: If you reflect back upon conflicts you have encountered over the years, you’ll quickly recognize many of them resulted from a lack of information, poor information, no information, or misinformation. Let’s assume for a moment that you were lucky enough to have received good information, but didn’t know what to do with it…That is still a communication problem, which in turn can lead to conflict. Clear, concise, accurate, and timely communication of information will help to ease both the number and severity of conflicts.
Emotions: Another common mistake made in workplace communications which leads to conflict is letting emotions drive decisions. I have witnessed otherwise savvy executives place the need for emotional superiority ahead of achieving their mission (not that they always understood this at the time). Case in point - have you ever witnessed an employee throw a fit of rage and draw the regrettable line in the sand in the heat of the moment? If you have, what you really watched was a person indulging their emotions rather than protecting their future.
The following tips will help to more effective handle conflicts in the workplace:
1. Define Acceptable Behavior: You know what they say about assuming…Just having a definition for what constitutes acceptable behavior is a positive step in avoiding conflict. Creating a framework for decisioning, using a published delegation of authority statement, encouraging sound business practices in collaboration, team building, leadership development, and talent management will all help avoid conflicts. Having clearly defined job descriptions so that people know what’s expected of them, and a well articulated chain of command to allow for effective communication will also help avoid conflicts. Clearly and publicly make it known what will and won't be tolerated.
2. Hit Conflict Head-on: While you can’t always prevent conflicts, it has been my experience that the secret to conflict resolution is in fact conflict prevention where possible. By actually seeking out areas of potential conflict and proactively intervening in a just and decisive fashion you will likely prevent certain conflicts from ever arising. If a conflict does flair up, you will likely minimize its severity by dealing with it quickly. Time spent identifying and understanding natural tensions will help to avoid unnecessary conflict.
3. Understanding the WIIFM Factor: Understanding the other professionals WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) position is critical. It is absolutely essential to understand other’s motivations prior to weighing in. The way to avoid conflict is to help those around you achieve their objectives. If you approach conflict from the perspective of taking the action that will help others best achieve their goals you will find few obstacles will stand in your way with regard to resolving conflict.
4. The Importance Factor: Pick your battles and avoid conflict for the sake of conflict. However if the issue is important enough to create a conflict then it is surely important enough to resolve. If the issue, circumstance, or situation is important enough, and there is enough at stake, people will do what is necessary to open lines of communication and close positional and/or philosophical gaps.
5. View Conflict as Opportunity: Hidden within virtually every conflict is the potential for a tremendous teaching/learning opportunity. Where there is disagreement there is an inherent potential for growth and development. If you’re a CEO who doesn’t leverage conflict for team building and leadership development purposes you’re missing a great opportunity. Divergent positions addressed properly can stimulate innovation and learning in ways like minds can't even imagine. Smart leaders look for the upside in all differing opinions.
Bottom line…I believe resolution can normally be found with conflicts where there is a sincere desire to do so. Turning the other cheek, compromise, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, finding common ground, being an active listener, service above self, and numerous other approaches will always allow one to be successful in building rapport if the underlying desire is strong enough. However, when all else fails and positional gaps cannot be closed, resolve the issue not by playing favorites, but by doing the right thing.
Let this encourage you to take on conflict.
If I may be honest , I have had my share of commitment issues. I recall dating my now wife still unsure of my self and the future of our relationship. It wasn’t till a day then girlfriend now my now wife gave me an ultimatum. It was at this time in my life where a boy had to become a man, “Man Up.”. I chose wisely, it was a time I needed some convincing of what I really wanted and we have been together for the last 20 plus years.
There are a lot of reasons why somebody might fear commitment. One reason is that the relationships a person hadin their past may have impactedthe ways they formed bonds down the line. If somebody committed to another person who didn’t respect them, who practiced avoidant relationship tactics, or who violated their trust, thenthe hurt caused by that previous relationship might inform the way that person approaches relationships now.
Regardless of what place the fear of commitment is manifesting from, there are concrete signs that can help you identify what’s going on internally.
Here are four reasons you may have commitment issues:
1. Letting go of the past has been an issue-
You have an anchor to unhealthy relationships and experiences in the past and it keeps you form moving forward.
2. Moving forward takes away possibilities and options
You like having options so you put off committing to someone because this paints you into a corner in which you have to examine yourself. This is selfish!
3. Simply you don’t know how to commit
There aren’t many examples or materials in your life that gives you a good foundation on how to commit. This is personal growth and development.
4. Uncertainties of what the future may hold, “man up”
This is the time you need to man or woman up. All of life is uncertain day to day, you can’t control the future and nor would you want to have that responsibility. This is why we call it life. L.I.F.E Learning Is ForEver.
Let this encourage you today,
3 Keys On Making A Healthy Relationship
The foundation of a healthy relationship includes:
Work on these, look for these to identify a healthy or an unhealthy relationship today.
Not being an expert on relationships, but having experience does help. I truly understand the burden and desire to build trust in relationships. It’s not uncommon to assume some level of trust in a new relationship but sometimes that trust is misplaced or misunderstood. The question isn’t should you trust; it’s how do you build trust so your relationship can grow and thrive?
Before you can build or restore trust, you have to understand what it means to you and her. Clearly communicating your expectations and understanding what the other person needs is the foundation for building a long-lasting relationship.
The problem is I/we tend to shy away from these conversations when a relationship is new for fear of scaring the other person away. Or, when the relationship has broken down in trust. And by not having the conversation, assuming you still have the opportunity to, assumptions are made which can lead to disagreements and even betrayal down the road.
Take the time to understand what she is looking for in a relationship and make sure your needs are expressed. When you begin there, building trust becomes much easier. To help you take the next steps…
Here Are 10 Ways to Build Trust in a Relationship For Men:Earn ItDon’t assume trust exists and always be working to earn it. When you stop taking trust for granted and make it a priority, you will be conscious of your actions and the perceptions of those actions to her.
Keep Your PromisesIt makes sense that you want to keep promises you make to her, but often the little things get overlooked. Make keeping your promises about little things as important as keeping your promises about the big things. Call when you are late, remember to pick up that item from the grocery store, fill up gas in her car when she needs it. While these things may seem small, they go a long way towards building trust with her.
Keep SecretsDo not keep secrets from each other, instead keep them for each other. Keep your personal conversations at home. It is only right to talk about something once you hear the other person bring the subject up in a conversation. Also realize, she might share information only with certain people. It’s her story, so let her tell it and flow from there.
Do not keep secrets from each other, instead keep them for each otherCommunicate Openly and In PersonMake it a rule that most communication, especially important subject matter, must happen in person. The true meaning of a message can get lost via text, email and sometimes even on the phone. Make sure you are both heard and understood by talking face to face.
Don’t JudgeYou might not understand why something is important to the other person, but the fact that it is important is all that matters. Before you can trust, you must respect each other and your differences without judgment.
Become VulnerableThis can be tough Men! But, be real with and that means sharing things that you often keep hidden. The ultimate sign of trust is living your truth and by doing so she will be more comfortable living hers.
Be ForgivingTrusting doesn’t mean mistakes won’t happen and when they do be forgiving. Holding on to past transgressions will only erode the trust in the relationship. We should feel the ability to make mistakes and so should she, without it being a constant source of contention. Letting go of the hurt, accepting the apology and moving on builds a trust based on truth and love.
Work on Your Personal GrowthWe are better people and better in our relationships when we take the time to work on our personal growth. It’s important in any relationship for the people in it to grow as a couple and as individuals. It’s a focus on our personal growth that keeps the relationship solid and the trust in each other growing. Read, listen, counseling all these are essential for busilding trust in your relationships.
Be SupportiveIt is important in any relationship to be supportive of the other person. It is even more important to show that support when we are in a stage of building trust. If one person in the relationship doesn’t feel that they can take a risk, make mistakes or try new things without support, the relationship will falter. On the other hand, being supportive in good times and bad opens us up to living our truth knowing someone has our back.
Disagree in PrivateA public forum is never a place to voice a disagreement. If what she is saying doesn’t sit well with you, discuss it at home. Often disagreeing in front of other people can shame or humiliate the other person. This kind of behavior will damage your lines of communication and your trust factor. Waiting until you get home offers the benefit of formulating your thoughts in a respectful way to encourage an honest and open discussion.
Building trust isn’t hard when you approach your relationship with respect and understanding.The basic principle of trust is easy: do what you say you are going to do. Stay true to that and a trusting relationship will naturally begin to form. Lastly, remember to always pray together.
Milton is genuine, persistent, and sincere. There are very few things that detract Milton from his pursuit of what he believes in. His attitude is fantastic and professionalism top notch. -
International speaker, creator of Maximizing Moments with Milton and the Author of Your Purpose, Your App -How to Stop Drifting and Start Living.