Recently and increasingly, I have been engaged to sort out conflict in the workplace. People’s relationships have broken down to the point they are not communicating in a professional manner, if at all, and it’s affecting the workplace. An awful situation for the rest of the team especially when it’s the Directors who have the problem!
In businesses small and large, one thing seems to be common – people are resistant to communicate with another when feeling conflicted or when their expectations are not met. They choose to bottle it up, involve others or worst case scenario they just simply leave.
I’ve been trying to find out what the cause of this is. Is it that we are just so consumed with being busy that we let things go until it gets to boiling point and then deal with it emotionally and irrationally? Are we fearful that the other person will give us less than positive feedback and we may have to change too? Have we simply lost the art of communication thanks to email and social media? Have we become really lazy?
I think it could be a culmination of all the above however, this does not change the fact that communication is fundamental to the success or failure of any relationship. So the need for clear communication is absolutely necessary in business and this has not changed even though our environment has changed substantially.
I’ll share with you next month some steps to resolve conflict from the outset. For now, reflect on the relationships you have with people in business who are not meeting your expectations. I would bet on you having at least one unless you are one of the very few people who communicates with clarity and reinforces expectations readily.
Reflect on why this situation has occurred and what role you have played in the breakdown. Have you not been clear, have you let things slide, have you not given someone the opportunity to change?
The irony is that most people think that by not telling someone they are not performing or meeting expectations, that they are behaving inappropriately or meeting client service standards etc that they are doing them a favour. You are NOT! You are not proving them with the opportunity to change. Feedback is a wonderful and powerful thing and I’ll share with you how to do this rationally next month.
Until then, happy thinking!