Deal With Workplace Conflict?
Tips for Managing Workplace Conflict
Direct Discussion - How to Approach a
Co-worker Why We Avoid
Dealing With Conflict
Are All Conflicts the Result of Personality
Clashes or Poor Behaviour
Communicating in Conflict
Managing Anger - Yours and Others
Being Hard on the Problem - Not the Person
The Role of Assumptions, Perceptions and
Expectations in Conflict
Think of criticism as an uncomfortable
way to learn more about yourself and your impact on others. Criticism
is simply feedback that we may find difficult to hear but which we need
if we are to expand our awareness of our impact on others.
The Johari Window is a diagram which
illustrates why we need feedback. Increasing the “window pane” made up
of what you know and what others know about you reduces any “blind
spots” we might have - situations where others have information gained
through their direct experience of our words and actions but we are
largely unaware of their impact.
Listening to criticism and critically assessing what
we are told is an important way to increase the size of the “window
panes” of self knowledge and to reduce the size of the “panes” that
reflect lack of self-awareness.
Tips for responding to criticism from others:
Relax and listen
carefully to what the other person is saying. Breathing deeply may
help you be more focused.
Say back (paraphrase) what you heard
the other person say to let them know you really heard and
understood their point. We know we heard them but they don’t know
unless you tell them. This does not mean you agree with them.
When someone is
speaking loudly and at a fast pace, respond by keeping your voice
low and speak slowly.
Ask for clarification
if the criticism is somewhat vague or unclear. If they are saying,
“You are cold with people” ask for a specific example so you can
understand what they are referring to
Decide whether the
criticism is fair or unfair. Look to see if there is a grain of
truth to what they are saying.
This is hard to do as we may have a desire to deny or defend. If you
can find some truth to what they are saying, take ownership of your
behaviour. If the criticism is unfair, bring up your question about
the matter of unfairness rather than the criticism itself.
If the criticism is
fair, ask for specific suggestions or an alternative, such as how
they want you to handle the situation or behave differently.
If you disagree with
the criticism, respond with your opinion in an I- statement rather
than a you-statement.
“I didn’t want to exclude you” rather than “Your interpretation is
Don’t get defensive and
rationalize or go into long excuses.
It can be helpful to
share your reaction to the criticism.
“It’s not easy to hear this criticism.”
“I’m sorry that my words caused you distress. My intent was….”