Avoiding Conflict In The Workplace By Rebecca Daniel
People are predictably different. If you really examine and explore this further, although people are uniquely different, funnily enough, they can be predictable in their behaviours based on their personalities. What’s more interesting is, when surrounded by similar personalities or people with similar passions but dissimilar values and beliefs, this is when things start to heat up.
In an ideal world, it would be lovely for everyone to get on well and for relationships (both personal and professional) to be harmonious. However, as Rocky Balboa would say, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows” and unfortunately, this is the same in the “real” world.
Don’t panic, as with everything, there’s a solution. Rebecca Daniel, founder and director of The Jigsaw Company, an award-winning social entrepreneur, qualified Teacher, Transformation Coach, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and DISC Behaviour and Personality Profiling Practitioner shares her tips on how you can reduce the conflicts and eliminate the drama in your workplace.
Learning how to avoid or reduce conflict can help individuals to reduce stress and anxieties and focus on boosting those positive hormones – which can help people to feel happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
Interestingly, unique experiences and unexpected events which haven’t been encountered before are perfect recipes for conflicts and drama. Being made redundant, working from home, relationship breakdowns, the loss of a loved one, home-schooling, global pandemics…you name it.
It’s important to explore concepts and theories and learn new strategies to prevent being trapped in a web of dramas and conflicts which will impact on your mental, physical and psychological wellbeing.
Psychiatrist Karpman (1965) presents an overview of how conflicts occur in a model which he refers to as the ‘Drama Triangle’. This expresses that each person plays a specific role in any conflict. Despite the model being triangular, it’s a cyclical approach and individuals can rotate around the triangle depending on the situation and/or their environment. He introduces three roles: the ‘victim’, ‘rescuer’ and ‘persecutor’. Intriguingly, one role isn’t more superior than the other as all parties have the best intentions. But when stuck in the triangle their emotions can be extremely unresourceful which reduces the likelihood for a positive outcome.
So, what do you do from here if you find yourself involved in the conflict at your workplace?
Get a bird’s eye view
Take a step back and assess where you are on the triangle. Each person on the triangle has a positive intention so it’s important to get a bird’s eye view of the situation and try to see it from their perspective.
Become a detective
Investigate the facts. It’s important to ask yourself, what have you actually seen or heard and also, what assumptions are you making?
Find a more empowering resolution. During a situation where tensions are high, it’s difficult to think objectively but again, it’s important for you to reflect on the situation and ask yourself, what would you like to have happened in this situation.
Ignite meaningful conversations
Ignite a more positive and meaningful dialogue with the parties involved at your workplace and listen to each other.
Recognise the role which you no longer choose to play in any conflict or drama. Empower yourself to focus on you and the things which are within your control; let go of the things that you can’t control which no longer serve you.