Tag Archives: Behaviors

Employee Engagement - Leadership - Performance Management

How to Create a More Positive Workplace: Maintaining Relationships

I conducted a virtual workshop this past fall on creating a more positive workplace. The insights of the thoughtful and engaged participants were so phenomenal that I have been sharing highlights from the program through a series of blogs. There was one detailing what contributes to an ideal workplace, and another on building connections. We then advanced to handling disagreements, discussing some helpful phrases to use in conversations, and how to respond appropriately to difficult situations

Here are some of the take-aways from one of our discussions about handling conflict, focusing on building and maintaining relationships in order to reduce conflict before it happens.  

  • Relationships are not static. Everything you do either builds the relationship stronger or destroys trust.
  • The feedback model of effective communication consists of the statement of an objective fact followed by a clear expression of your feelings.
  • Email should not be used to handle disagreement. You can work on the assumption that email messages will be misconstrued. An in-person conversation is best, but video chat if that is not possible. Use the telephone if visual options are not available. Definitely do not use text.
  • Don’t say anything in an email that you wouldn’t want widely distributed to the general public. 
  • Only say in an email what you would say to a person in a face-to-face setting.
  • Express yourself and don’t hold in your emotions. Your feelings will come out in other, possibly unproductive, ways.

How do you reduce conflict before it happens?

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Communication - Conflict Resolution

How to Create a More Positive Workplace: Difficult Situations

I conducted a virtual workshop this past fall on creating a more positive workplace. The insights of the thoughtful and engaged participants were so phenomenal that I have been sharing highlights from the program through a series of blogs. There was one detailing what contributes to an ideal workplace, and another on building connections. We then advanced to handling disagreements, discussing how to respond appropriately, how to channel conflict to find common ground and build trust, and some helpful phrases to use in conversations

Here are some of the take-aways from one of our discussions about handling conflict, focusing on responding appropriately to difficult situations: 

  • Assume the positive! Assume that no one intentionally pushes any buttons.
  • If you are one of the very few intentional button pushers, PLEASE STOP! No action by another person permits you to resort to poor professional behavior, and your attitude is undoubtedly destroying trust.  
  • When you are in a difficult situation — like someone is yelling at you, calling you names, or being mean — assume that only YOUR RESPONSE is being videotaped. Would it be okay to share the video with your clients, children, parents, etc.? Are you being a role model?
  • Once a colleague, or a family member for that matter, indicates that they need to take a break from the discussion, it’s impossible to have a productive dialogue. Both parties need to stop and re-engage at a later time.  
  • The amount of time to wait before coming back to a difficult conversation is different for each of us and depends on the specific situation. If you wait longer than 24 hours, you may appear dismissive, lacking respect, and irresponsible with the relationship. If you need more time, convey the honest reason and the desired timeframe.

Expect outstanding work from yourself and from your colleagues, but be very gracious and kind when that doesn’t happen. Always take the high road. It’s possible that someone is videotaping you!

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Conflict Resolution - Performance Management

How to Create a More Positive Workplace: Handling Disagreements

I conducted a virtual workshop recently on creating a more positive workplace. The insights of the thoughtful and engaged participants were phenomenal! In the weeks to come I will continue to share highlights from the program. After our first session examining what contributes to an ideal workplace, we moved on to handling disagreements. We discussed how to respond appropriately, and how to channel conflict to find common ground and build trust.Since conversations about disagreements can be uncomfortable and unproductive, here are some phrases to have in your toolbox to move the discussion further:

  • It would be helpful if…
  • This might move the project forward…
  • I agree with all these parts, so we just need to work through…

If you are feeling overwhelmed you might say:

  • I am unable to listen right now…
  • I would like to come back later when I can listen fully and be more receptive…
  • I think we need to stop for right now…

If values aren’t in alignment with doing the ethical or moral thing:

  • That surprises me because you are usually so exacting/concerned about the employees/careful about compliance….
  • Have you considered the repercussions…
  • We’re not that kind of a workplace…

And if you want to share your perspective you could say:

  • The story I am telling myself is…
  • What I am making up in my head is…

And most importantly, the best way to end discussions like this is with a genuine statement of collaboration such as: 

  • There’s a lot we do agree on such as…
  • While we don’t always agree, you help me see…
  • I hadn’t considered your perspective.
  • Thank you for taking this so seriously.
  • You always show me other angles.

 What are some ways you handle disagreements?

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