Strong work relationships are at the heart of an organization's
ability to accomplish its goals, as well as an individual's ability to
achieve a successful and rewarding career. Unmanaged conflict in the workplace
can be a serious impediment to work relationships actually "working." We
hope these reminders of financial and personal costs and communication
tips will be useful to you. You are welcome to forward this newsletter
to others. The best way to send it is to click the "Forward Newsletter" button at the bottom of this page. (Email addresses on this mailing list will never be sold, rented, or given to any other party).
As always, we enjoy hearing back from you. Best wishes
for a strong and rewarding year!
In this issue...
- Workplace Conflict Can Be a Costly Problem
If You Ignore It!
- Respect: Essential for Healthy Work Relationships
at Work: Power and Simplicity
- Quiz Yourself on How You Manage Conflict at Work
for Healthy Work Relationships
is like air. If you take it away, it's all people can think about." (Crucial
Conversations, 2002). How true! We all know how it feels when we don't feel
respected, how unacceptable others find it when they feel disrespected,
and how a work relationship can be put on hold when respect is in question.
And yet, showing respect equally to everyone in your workplace is a challenge
at times. Perhaps you don't agree with the other person. Maybe you don't
feel you have the time to give to it? Perhaps some history makes it difficult
for you to be the one to take the first step to rebuild a trusting, respectful
relationship. Despite the obstacles, opportunities to show respect for others
present themselves almost every workday. These opportunities can be times
when you see things differently from the other person, when there is anxiety
about uncertainties in the workplace, or when you need to give bad news.
You can use these opportunities to show respect through listening, empathy,
Apologies at Work:
Power and Simplicity
Two simple words, "I'm sorry," can have the most profound
effect in disentangling a complicated dispute. Yet they can be two of the
hardest words to master even in everyday communications. After years
of mediating workplace conflict, I remain in awe of the power of
an apology to shift the direction of everyday interpersonal disputes
and even turn the tide almost instantly in a complex case headed
for formal litigation. Currently, the practice of apologizing and
admitting mistakes is being studied as a way to head off lengthy
and expensive malpractice claims. If it can work in these situations,
imagine the power in your working relationships. Bob Rosner, author
of Apologies at Work: Learn to Apologize with
a Bit of Grace, offers
four tips so you "not only won't get burned, you may actually
increase the respect of your co-workers."
Quiz Yourself on
How You Manage Conflict at Work
Conflict at work is inevitable, and everyone
experiences it. How are you as a conflict manager? Response
variation among managers is due in large part to variation in skill
levels. Imagine yourself in one of these situations:
- Too much of your
time is spent refereeing employees who are bickering and not
- A colleague who was formerly very cooperative and helpful
now is not
- You are frustrated that you and your team have different
definitions of what it takes to get the job done
- You feel excluded
from important discussions since you and your boss disagreed
a few moments to think about your typical responses. Do you "get
it right" sometimes, but not often enough? Ask yourself
a few questions with our short quiz. If you would like to
become more consistent as a conflict manager, contact us.
Can Be a Costly Problem
Don't find yourself hiding your head in the sand!
conflict by pretending it isn't there is the most commonly used
method of handling conflict. Despite its popularity, avoiding conflict
has a miserable success rate!
Workplace conflict can be
a costly problem if you ignore it!
spend 30% to 40% of their time handling employee conflicts
a trained employee costs 150% of the employee's annual salary
- At least 50% of voluntary departures are caused
litigation to fix small problems can cost thousands of dollars
attention at the beginning stages can reduce time, cost, and stress
associated with interpersonal conflict. Shift your organization
from one of conflict avoiders to conflict managers.
Request a confidential, free consultation