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Feb 16

4/22 Guest Post: Conflict Solutions in the workplace

From time to time, we have included different perspectives on Conflict Solutions as a ‘Guest Post’.  The following is shared by someone who has face conflict in the work place and has learned many valuable lessons.  Today Margaret shares with us some of what she has learned:

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“I generally get along with most people but I have come across many situations where people were difficult to get along with. This could be at work, in church or part of my family. They were usually situations that I could not get away from easily as they were part of my life in some way at the time.  Even though I would like to, I couldn’t run away from every bad situation.  However I could make it less painful and in the process, learned a lot about other people and myself.

“In all these situations, the person had somehow pushed my buttons which is always an opportunity for me to grow and dig deeper into becoming a more well rounded person.

“In the first instance of a conflict situation, my natural instinct was not to react to someone’s rudeness.  This meant that I usually didn’t stand up for myself immediately. I sometimes wished I was like other people who could react straight away and put the other person ‘in their place’ and therefore ‘nip it in the bud’. But instead I would go home and mull over the situation, trying to work out what happened and why it made me feel uncomfortable.

“My second step came slowly: I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal if I had any part in causing the conflict.  I could also confide is some trusted friends about the event.  It does help to get another perspective on the situation.

“If I had played a part in the conflict then I tried to take responsibility and own my part, with God’s help. If it was not about me, but more about the other persons issues, then I would seek God’s wisdom.  Either way, I ask God to help me know how best to handle the situation and asked for guidance through every step.

“Then, if I felt led (which usually meant it was something I didn’t want to do) I would address/confront the person’s behaviour to the best of my ability, focusing on what the specific event that had occurred.  I tried to include how that situation made me feel.  I always tried to talk this out in a calm and rational manner to ensure I was respecting the other person.  After that, the way that the other person reacted was not my responsibility however it would guide me in how I handled further encounters.

“Please don’t misunderstand – none of this is easy. In fact it’s hard ….hard ….hard and often I wanted to scream or punch something, so when I’m finding it particularly difficult, I immerse myself in as much of God’s influence as I can. 

“One good way for me has been to listen to Joyce Meyer CD’s in the car on the way to work.  This puts me into a positive frame of mind and was a good start to the day.

“The other thing that helps is to pick my battles.  Often things that I find offensive are more about my pride than an actual offence. So I really have to search my heart and motives before I get too worked up about it.

“….and most of all I need Godly support and advise from a trusted mentor, counsellor, friend or all three, where I can vent my frustrations in a safe environment.

“You never know what the other person is going through or what their experience has been.  If they are angry, bitter and have an attitude, it could be due to any number of reasons.  They may not have the insight to self reflect or the tools to respond any differently so I’ve learned to not expect someone to do something they do not have the capacity to do.

“Also I try different tactics and angles of dealing with the situation. If something doesn’t work, I try something else.

“A big part of what keeps me sane and grounded is determining what is within my power to change and leaving what I can’t change in God’s hands: basically, ‘The Serenity Prayer’.

“It’s a daily process to stay positive and not let the difficult situation get me down, particularly because I also deal with depression.  I don’t have it all worked out but I do have peace knowing that I am handling the situation as best as I can for where I’m at…..knowing that  God is working though my triggers so that eventually they will have no power over me.

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Thanks for this important reflection on being real with our conflicts.  Can you see the main tactics she has used?

1.  Conflict is inevitable.

2.  Not to respond immediately, especially using ‘rudeness’ when rudeness was given.  Keep the respect for the other person.

3.  When things are calmer, to respond quickly rather than just ignore the situation.

4.  Face her own responsibility in the situation with God’s help or a trusted friend.  Look for your own ‘buttons’, the triggers where the reaction happens.

5.  Pick the important battles.  Leave with the Lord the battles that are not yours.

6.  Try alternative ways to resolve the conflict.

7.  Practice, practice and more practice.

Thanks Margaret for share this Guest Post with us.  Anyone else like to contribute?  We welcome comments from our readers!

Susanne Fengler. Blog Author

www.conflictsolutions.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

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