The more I support companies in their quest to get to the next level of organizational and business performance, I find the conversations predominantly shifting to how we handle conflict and politics at work.
A few weeks ago I provided some support to Sue Shellenbarger, a journalist with the Wall Street Journal on a topic about battles in the workplace. The article was published on the December 17th edition and is available on line at http://on.wsj.com/1sBKBrq
Here is an extract of 2 sections.
In some situations, consider a retreat.
- Don’t wage war without offering a solution or suggested route to one.
- Don’t pick fights over issues that aren’t important to your employer or your ability to work.
- Don’t battle over issues outside your area of influence or responsibility.
- Don’t take on colleagues because you dislike their personality.
- Don’t pick battles with co-workers who are far more powerful than you.
- Plan ahead on how to describe the problem and draw the listener into helping solve it.
- Ask yourself whether you will be able to control your emotions when discussing the issue.
- Think about whether you can deal with any criticisms that may be fired back at you.
- Take up the conflict with someone who has the power to do something about it.
- Bring up disagreements as soon as you know they’re going to be a problem.
- Test support for your position informally with trusted colleagues
As we all get ready for 2015, this may be a helpful list of reminders on some of the things that can hinder or help us navigate the challenging interactions we will undoubtedly face in 2015 and beyond.