In my previous post titled “Do You Fall Asleep at Work? Me Too!” I discussed five strategies I used to overcome my proclivity for dozing off at work. Today, I’d like to share with you a few tips for minimizing workplace conflicts. While we cannot prevent conflicts altogether, there are things we can do to keep them to a minimum. Given below is my way of keeping conflicts to a minimum.
Minimize Conflicts at work: Listen Honestly
Stephen Covey has said “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” – Even simple disputes escalate into significant conflicts because we refuse to listen. When we listen, we listen for defending ourselves or to offend the other person. Therefore, learn to listen with the intent to understand if you want to keep conflicts at work to a minimum.
Minimize Conflicts at work: Avoid Tit for Tat
Mahatma Gandhi has said, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind” – Vengeance blinds us so much we fail to see the cycle of conflict that we perpetuate every time we get even with the offender. Therefore, learn to forgive if you want to keep conflicts at work to a minimum.
Minimize Conflicts at work: Stop being Rude
Eric Hoffer has said “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength” – We often confuse speaking plainly with being rude. It’s one thing to speak your mind. Another thing to give people a piece of your mind. It’s easy to work with people who speak their minds. Therefore, learn to speak plainly but politely if you want to keep conflicts at work to a minimum.
Minimize Conflicts at work: Exercise flexibility
John Wooden has said “Flexibility is the key to Stability” – being flexible doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat. It means to be a person that welcomes change. Welcoming change does not necessarily mean compromising your principles. It’s the methods that you change. Not the underlying principles. Very often conflicts break out at work because we confuse methods with principles. Therefore, learn to be flexible if you want to keep conflicts at work to a minimum.
Minimize Conflicts at work: Don’t Gossip
Frank A. Clark has said “Gossip needn’t be false to be evil – there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around” – Being the victim doesn’t give you the right to gossip about the offender or attack him on Social Media. You must direct your grievances to the appropriate forum. You cannot gossip and look forward to maintaining peace. Therefore, learn not to gossip but take your grievances to the right forum if you want to keep conflicts at work to a minimum.
Minimize Conflicts at work: Avoid Interference
Thomas A. Kempis has said, “Do not interfere when your opinion is not sought” – The definition of the term interference depends on the background it’s being used. In the context of this post, however, I would like to define interference as, “telling others how to do their job”. Interference causes disputes that later become conflicts. Learn to mind your own business if you want to keep conflicts at work to a minimum.
I asked myself while writing this blog post, “What is the best advice I can give to those who have to work with people that are impossible to tolerate?” Keeping them at arm’s length was my initial thought. Then it occurred to me. What good can it bring? There must be something I can do about such people. Someone said, “Set boundaries. Don’t build walls”.
It’s exactly what we must do. Here’s why? Life is full of surprises. One day you might have the opportunity to influence those people in your life for the better. Boundary lines are easy to cross when the opportunity arises. If you have been putting up walls, however, you must demolish them first. Unfortunately, you will miss the opportunity while you are busy demolishing those walls.
If you found this content helpful, I kindly ask you to leave your feedback in the comments section below. Sharing it on social media would also be greatly appreciated. In order to promote meaningful and respectful dialogue, I request that you use your full name when commenting. Please note that any comments containing profanity, name-calling, or a disrespectful tone will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding and participation.