Learn from conflicts

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CON­FLICT can cause pro­duc­tiv­ity, re­la­tion­ship and op­er­a­tional prob­lems in the work­place but work­ers can take a pos­i­tive from the ex­pe­ri­ence and l earn s ome­thing new, an or­gan­i­sa­tional ex­pert says.

HR De­vel­op­ment At Work Trans­form­ing Con­flict coach Sa­man­tha Smith says de­vel­op­ing emo­tional in­tel­li­gence can help peo­ple avoid ac­ci­den­tally trig­ger­ing or push­ing the wrong but­tons of oth­ers.

She has four tips for em­ploy­ees of any level to de­velop an aware­ness and help man­age, over­come and pre­vent work con­flict:

clear about what is most im­por­tant to you. It en­ables a worker to nav­i­gate through their con­flict sit­u­a­tions while main­tain­ing their re­spect and in­tegrity.

what is im­por­tant to a con­flict­ing party by de­ter­min­ing what they need to feel safe phys­i­cally but more im­por­tantly emo­tion­ally, in the work­place.

Peo­ple blame and get ag­gres­sive when they feel threat­ened.

If a worker feels that it is not ac­cept­able to have their feel­ings, they will au­to­mat­i­cally act to de­fend their right to feel them.

that the other per­son in­volved in a con­flict is some­one who wants to feel good about them­selves or a sit­u­a­tion, just as much as you do. Con­flict­ing par­ties of­ten just see dif­fer­ent parts of the whole pic­ture.

Un­der­stand­ing that the other party is an in­tel­li­gent per­son and is not the en­emy can help a worker to ap­proach them with re­spect, which en­cour­ages them to re­turn it.

con­flict as an op­por­tu­nity to learn some­thing new.

It al­lows a worker to re­gain a sense of em­pow­er­ment, even if the ex­pe­ri­ence of the con­flict is not pleas­ant or easy to han­dle.

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