The Cost of Conflict: How to Communicate Best with Your Worst Employees
We’ve all heard the phrase, “If you can’t beat them, join them,” and we’ve all had to deal with bosses, coworkers or customers who we view as unreasonable or downright impossible. It’s easy to point fingers or place blame when conflict arises, but how often does that lead to a constructive resolution? Conflict in the workplace can permeate every aspect of your business from productivity and efficiency, to general office morale. Regardless of how you look at it, conflict costs you money.
So with that in mind, would you believe us if we told you there are simple methods to not only constructively work with these people, but to actually get along with them and even enjoy the process?
When we heard about Mark Goulston’s book, “Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life,” the title alone caught our attention. Researching further we realized that many of the principles delineated by this UCLA psychiatrist are similar to the ones we use every day in our training sessions with clients, particularly in our Manager’s Toolbox workshop.
Goulston’s theory outlines that the best way to deal with difficult or (who you perceive as) irrational people is to react from a place of empathy. A true test of your perception is to look inward and alter your own behavior. While we see conflict resolution as a process with the goal of constructive management as opposed to complete elimination, we saw elements of Goulston’s theories in our own methods. Addressing a difficult situation with compassion instead of combativeness could completely change the outcome and your relationships with those involved. Both our expert services and Goulston’s practical book provide positive, actionable channels for addressing conflict in the workplace and beyond.
Our key takeaway is this – next time an issue arises with that one person that usually gets under your skin, try swimming with the current instead of against it and see where you end up.
(If you think you need more than a book to help diffuse your workplace woes, drop us a line at (888) 713-7567 or send us a note here for a free consultation.)