Creating a Drama-Free Workplace – Anna Maravelas
Workplace conflict consultant Anna Maravelas draws on her long experience to explain how to prevent and resolve workplace clashes.
Conflict Is Everywhere
Workplace conflicts unfold in three different kinds of corporate cultures: “hostile,” “indifferent,” and “connected.”
Your overall corporate culture determines how conflicts emerge and how best to resolve them.
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The behaviours that destroy trust and connectedness are found in every workplace
Corporate Cultures: Hostile
Teams at some corporations show open antagonism toward one another. The workplace is full of uptight, unreasonable, and unhappy emotions. Members of these organizations feel threatened. They hate going to work and avoid meetings. Hostility saps employees’ energy and leads to lower productivity.
However, merely working through the critical issues that agitate your team members and thus eliminating anger is not enough. Employees’ involvement in their work might diminish if they’ve been using hostility to fuel their energy.
Corporate Cultures: Low Energy, Indifferent
In this environment, employees disengage and feel apathetic toward their work. Team members don’t acknowledge their colleagues’ contributions. Without feedback, people don’t know their position in the organization or whether their work has a positive impact.
Corporate Cultures: High energy, Connected
In connected workplaces, team members like each other and work together harmoniously. Positive exchanges increase workers’ enthusiasm and productivity. Everybody performs beyond expectations. Employees find these workplaces enjoyable, both personally and professionally.
Encountering Conflict Or Problem
Your attitude toward frustration determines how well you respond to conflict.
When you encounter a conflict or problem, the situation will trigger one of three possible “assumptions”:
You find others at fault for things that go wrong and see them as the source of any problem.
After a fight, when your feelings of righteousness abate, you berate yourself.
Unlike the previous two “reflexive” responses, a “reflective” response allows you to focus on the context, setting, or framework of a problem rather than on the people involved.
Discord At The Workplace: The Five Circumstances
Five factors, including poorly designed systems and processes, cause most workplace conflicts:
- You may encounter situations at work where hidden restraints cause problems.
- When systems and processes are poorly structured or instituted, they can prompt workplace clashes.
- Efforts to measure performance can lead to conflicts between different parts of an organization.
- Whenever you see someone acting in a hostile, belligerent manner, consider whether the person has the abilities, understanding or backbone to do better.
- Mutual mistrust can leave two people at odds.
People Won’t Change Unless They Experience Acceptance
How can you deal with other people’s angry or inappropriate behaviour? You don’t have to turn a blind eye to bad behaviour, but you can recognize that everyone, yourself included, sometimes acts badly. By acknowledging this fact, you will see that you don’t gain anything by feeling upset over other people’s behaviour.
The Four Ways To Assert Yourself
When you act assertively, you can combine that attitude with either anger or warmth in four ways:
- Angry and assertive – People who use this approach demean and insult others. This behaviour is rare in most workplaces.
- Angry and not assertive – People who use this tactic mix hostility and low assertiveness to create an attitude of “cold contempt.” Eventually, employees may avoid or conspire against each other.
- Warm and not assertive – People who act this way are often seen as “doormats.”
- Warm and assertive – Unlike the first three combinations, this mixture can yield positive results.
Avoiding Workplace Drama: Benefits
Your people don’t have to become “emotional idiots” – Other people might see someone as less than emotionally solid if he or she shouts at colleagues, who could have their own reasons for how they behave.
Health and resiliency improve – Reducing the number of times you get angry or even enraged protects you against heart disease and boosts your immune system.
Positive reciprocity accrues – The way you speak and act creates reciprocity.
People will want you to work with them – Having the ability to solve problems and create links to your teammates will help you develop relationships.
Understand And Act Wisely
Most people encounter around 30 frustrating situations every day. In such circumstances, the assumptions you make – to blame others, blame yourself or look for the reason – shape your results and outcomes, for better or for worse.
Consider the impact of your behaviour patterns throughout your life. If you stop to think about the situations you encounter rather than just reacting to them, you can build an internal attitude of warmth and inquisitiveness. Your colleagues will take you into their confidence because you never criticize other people; instead, you pause to figure them out.