Posted by: healingtheworkplace | February 15, 2011

Co-workers Driving You Crazy?

Are Your Coworkers Driving You Crazy?

 A couple of years ago I wrote about personality conflicts in the workplace.  I thought I would revisit this topic but when I searched the internet recently I couldn’t find much that was new and different.  In fact there didn’t appear to be anything new and exciting. Don’t despair however, if you read the rest of my blog you’ll find some new resources to check out.

What my internet search did uncover was this.

The amount of employee conflict and the number of interpersonal clashes have increased in the last ten years.  Any thoughts on why that might be?

Conflict is not a bad thing in fact it can result in a number of positives such as:

  • Increased motivation
  • Enhanced problem solving
  • Stronger teams
  • Increased creativity
  • Increased knowledge (especially self-knowledge)
  • Improved skills
  • Increase self-confidence

 But for most of us conflict makes us uncomfortable and is something we would prefer to avoid. This has more to do with who we are then with who we are working with.

There are two points here:

  • Learning about self
  • Learning about others

 In an ideal workplace we would have time and opportunity to get to know the people that we work with. Good leaders make this a priority when introducing new people into the workplace or bringing together new teams. It just makes sense.

Unfortunately with the pace of change and its impact on the workplace it is not always possible to spend time on relationship building, even though I think this should be a priority!

This is really too bad because change brings uncertainty, fear and distrust and this is fertile ground for conflict.

But don’t despair, there is something YOU can do. Conflicts can only be managed when you have control of yourself internally. This means knowing yourself.  

 We have to know what triggers us or pushes our buttons. We have to be able to self-manage, to stop and reflect on what is happening to us, and to choose the best option.

 Here are some resources that you might find useful:

  • How To Manage Conflict by Peg Pickering
  • Personal Leadership: Making a World of Different by Barb Schaetti, Sheila Ramsey, and Gordon Watanabe

Here’s a new resource from Australia!

Check out the Conflict Resolution Network

They have a new e learning certificate that costs $125.00 US and takes between 30 and 40 hours to complete. You will gain skills in the following techniques:

  1. Win/win
  2. Creative Response
  3. Empathy
  4. Appropriate Assertiveness
  5. Co-operative Power
  6. Managing Emotions
  7. Willingness to Resolve
  8. Mapping the Conflict
  9. Designing Options
  10. Negotiation
  11. Introduction to Mediation
  12. Broadening Perspectives

And if you don’t have the $125.00 you may be eligible for a scholarship. There are lots of great free resources on the CRN site too.

Cheers, Lesley


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