Friday, May 20, 2011

Dealing with Workplace Conflicts

“I am upset”, how frequently do you hear this phrase? Off course uncountable times, at home or at work. Reason is simple – people are generally frustrated!

The above phrase is the beginning of “anger”, symptoms can affect the individual badly and spread like an epidemic, causing damage to the organization.

In my recent discussions with senior executives, one key feature which registered to me very strongly was, all workplace related anger issues initiate with “ego”! Hurt by a remark or attitude of a colleague, reaction starts. Perhaps uncontrolled emotional reaction is human nature, but certainly workplaces aggressions mostly caused by some underwater currents within the organizations.

Generally speaking, the key reason for workplace anger is to do with attitudes about themselves and predisposed judgments about others, which influence them to display disrespecting behavior towards others. People acknowledge that exhibiting aggression isn’t a sign of rightfulness or being energetic. There is no doubt that those who engage in angry behavior, lack maturity and insight about influencing behavior of a fellow human. Whether you are the one who is an aggressor or are the one on the receiving end of these emotional outbursts, the key to manage workplace anger is to make conscious choices for one’s actions. One must pause and reflect whether the behavior is going to contribute towards resolution of exacerbation of the problem. This one choice is likely to spell the difference.

Having said above, managers often find themselves in a challenging situation while dealing with such issues. Please realize that “Anger is mostly caused by conflicts” – period.

Now if this realization soaks in, managers need to understand the reasons for conflict and deal with it accordingly. My extensive discussions with HR guys reveal that there are three major reasons for workplace conflicts:

• Communication barriers
• Lack of recognition
• Ethical issues

And often dealing with workplace conflicts become easier managers are focused on the three points given above.

While dealing with an angry staff members, first thing is to listen and take notes, ask simple questions, repeat if answers are not satisfactory, get your facts right.

Caution: Do not react even if a direct comment is passed; remember angry person is “out of his mind”

Slowly you will see fire dying, this is the time to start your move towards discussing the solutions – Be prepared, as angry guy can’t give you one – You are now in lead. Enjoy!

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