In our lives, there are bound to be conflicts, even more so in the workplace where everyone want their tasks to be completed on time and many of the times, it’s just not up to you whether you can submit that report on time, you’ll probably tapping your feet impatiently as you wait for your figures from the data analyst or the information from the research team.
So conflicts are unavoidable but you can always manage conflicts and steer it to your advantage if you know how to. I’ll list some scenarios for you to ponder.
John* wants things to be done in his way and no other way. You think he is being unreasonable and not open-minded about your ideas. Time and time he shot down your suggestions, labeling them as too risky and no foundation. You are frustrated but you have no choice, he is your partner at work and your bosses loves him.
– Find out the underlying reason that he is playing safe, perhaps that is the directive from management?
– Does his way gets the results the company is seeking for? Is his way productive?
– By trying to understand where he is coming from is to make sure you see from all angles.
Lead with his idea but inject your own too. When the task is a success, try to point it out to him the areas that you have improved. Take baby steps with him to slowly nudge him to see you are on his side too.
You need the data quick. Your boss just gave you a 24 hours deadline to get the presentation slides ready for him to showcase to the board of directors. But Amy* the data analyst kept holding you off each time you ask for the figures.
– Sympathized with her workload and ask what can you do to to have the data out. Find out what she is working on that causes the delay.
– Volunteer to help her in other areas in her tasks and see if she can spare some time to help with yours.
– Don’t badger her. Give her room to breathe.
At times like this, I’ll approach other requestors and ask if Amy could delay in giving them the due data and work on mine instead. If you have good working relationship with others, your chances in wiggling this out is high. Then be the one to pass this information to Amy and allow her to see that at this point, you really need the figures from her asap.
Luca* is a fellow peer who works in the same team as you. He is super friendly and often goes around to your team to chat them up at their busiest time causing unproductivity. He undermines your authority when he shares gossips with your team about how you got snubbed by the bosses last week behind closed door.
– I know you want to straggle him or bang his head onto the wall or both. Stop! No point getting worked up because of him.
– All he may want is attention which he is not getting from his own team.
– He probably felt idolized and empowered by the deluding himself that your team likes him better than you.
The next time you caught him doing the same thing, request him to step aside and gestured him to a closed-door chat. Firmly but politely, let him know what he is doing is awful and you won’t condone his behavior. Tell him that you are on his side. If he choose to ignore your friendly warning, you can model an example of his and chat with his team at one of the crucial times. He will wake up and realize that two can play the same game and that you are serious.
There are many scenarios out that will cause conflicts but with so many scenarios, it’s hard to list out every of them here and dish out advice accordingly. So let me help you with 10 golden rules..
2. Walk away if it gets too much to handle
3. Never coward and pressure to bow down especially when you know you’re right
4. Listen and open your mind to suggestions
5. ALWAYS aim for a win-win solution
6. Please don’t go cry wolf to your boss. You’ll get more respect if you can handle this on your own.
7. Try to maneuver the situation around to something positive
8. If the other party is willing, compromise
9. If you are third party to the conflict, don’t take sides.
10. Always follow up with the person when the conflict is over. To ensure there are no hard feelings.
Have a scenario of your own that need my help? Write to me at kally@MiddleMe.net. I gladly love to help you.