Performance Communication , Workplace Communication

When Confronting Conflict, Speak for Yourself

When Confronting Conflict, Speak for Yourself

Conflict is an inevitable consequence of human interaction. However, most of us don’t like to confront conflict at all, let alone by ourselves.

As a result, we seek support from others.  Instead of going directly to the person with whom we have a problem, we discuss the situation with just about everyone else, hoping they’ll back us up. Then, we confront the person with whom we have the problem as if we’re a group spokesperson“I’m sorry to say this Mark, but we all think you take too long on your calls. We’re tired of picking up the slack for you.” 

As my husband always says if I slip and say “We all think…”, “We who? You and that mouse in your pocket?”

The problem with confronting conflict with, “We all think…” is that YOU are the only person standing there.

White mouse in a pocket confronting conflictAnd not only do you not have a mouse in your pocket to back you up, but your workers won’t either when Mark confronts them with what you’ve said. Most people will deny ever having a conversation with you, or will say you misunderstood them. Even if they do back you up, how do you think everyone’s working relationship with Mark will be once he realizes people were talking about him behind his back?

This week, get motivated to confront conflict effectively.

If you have a conflict with someone, address it early, directly with him or her, and speak for yourself only. Simply share what you’ve experienced and make a request of “Mark” for what he can do to improve the situation. When you do, you’ll be surprised at how much better the situation will turn out and the next time, instead of avoiding conflict, you’ll be motivated to confront it quickly!

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