Posts Tagged ‘workplace conflict’

Beyond Win-Lose

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Did you know that a 2008 study by CPP found that U.S. employees spend 2.8 hours a week dealing with conflict? And did you know the cost of the conflict is $359 billion in paid hours or 385 million working days per year?

We can’t just wish conflict away. It’s a guaranteed part of human life and work. And conflict actually has many advantages when handled constructively. The key is that it can be managed, and it MUST be managed.

The worst approaches perpetuate the conflict. Nothing does this as surely as a win-lose approach. If you set someone up to lose in a conflict situation, they WILL find a way to “win,” even if it means sabotaging the other person or the process. I’m sure you’ve seen this happen. So avoid creating win-lose situations at all costs. That comes from the intention you set before you start. If you set out to create a win-win, chances are you will have a far better result.

Focus on a good outcome for everyone concerned. The first goal should be building relationships—showing others that you respect them and their opinions and want to hear diverse opinions. The key is to be open-minded to other opinions and provide factual and insightful arguments for your cause.

Handled badly, conflict can sink the ship. Handled well, it can increase trust and productivity. The bottom line is to attack the problem, not the human.

Sweeping the Dirt Under the Rug

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

I remember it like it was yesterday. One of the jobs my mother asked me to do when I was a little girl was sweeping the floor. I was a typical kid, meaning I didn’t really want to do it all the way through.

So I swept the room fair enough…but I swept the dirt under the rug.

I still remember the little monologue that went on in my head: It’s not that big a deal. Out of sight, out of mind. Mom will never even notice.

And she didn’t notice—for a while.