Conflict in Work


Conventional wisdom (and research) says that good communication can improve relationships, increasing intimacy, trust and support. The converse is also true: poor communication can weaken bonds, creating mistrust and even contempt!

Here are some examples of negative and even destructive attitudes and communication patterns that can exacerbate conflict in a relationship. How many of these sound like something you’d do?

1. Avoiding Conflict Altogether:
Rather than discussing building frustrations in a calm, respectful manner, some people just don’t say anything to their partner until they’re ready to explode, and then blurt it out in an angry, hurtful way. This seems to be the less stressful route—avoiding an argument altogether—but usually causes more stress to both parties, as tensions rise, resentments fester, and a much bigger argument eventually results. It's much healthier to address and resolve conflict.

2. Being Defensive:
Rather than addressing a partner’s complaints with an objective eye and willingness to understand the other person’s point of view, defensive people steadfastly deny any wrongdoing and work hard to avoid looking at the possibility that they could be contributing to a problem. Denying responsibility may seem to alleviate stress in the short run, but creates long-term problems when partners don’t feel listened to and unresolved conflicts and continue to grow.

3. Overgeneralizing:
When something happens that they don’t like, some blow it out of proportion by making sweeping generalizations. Avoid starting sentences with, “You always…” and “You never…”, as in, “You always come home late!” or “You never do what I want to do!” Stop and think about whether or not this is really true. Also, don’t bring up past conflicts to throw the discussion off-topic and stir up more negativity. This stands in the way of true conflict resolution, and increases the level of conflict.

4. Being Right:
It’s damaging to decide that there’s a ‘right’ way to look at things and a ‘wrong’ way to look at things, and that your way of seeing things is right. Don’t demand that your partner see things the same way, and don’t take it as a personal attack if they have a different opinion. Look for a compromise or agreeing to disagree, and remember that there’s not always a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’, and that two points of view can both be valid.

5. "Psychoanalyzing" / Mind-Reading:
Instead of asking about their partner’s thoughts and feelings, people sometimes decide that they ‘know’ what their partners are thinking and feeling based only on faulty interpretations of their actions—and always assume it’s negative! (For example, deciding a late mate doesn’t care enough to be on time, or that a tired partner is denying sex out of passive-aggressiveness.) This creates hostility and misunderstandings.

6. Forgetting to Listen:
Some people interrupt, roll their eyes, and rehearse what they’re going to say next instead of truly listening and attempting to understand their partner. This keeps you from seeing their point of view, and keeps your partner from wanting to see yours! Don’t underestimate the importance of really listening and empathizing with the other person!

7. Playing the Blame Game:
Some people handle conflict by criticizing and blaming the other person for the situation. They see admitting any weakness on their own part as a weakening of their credibility, and avoid it at all costs, and even try to shame them for being ‘at fault’. Instead, try to view conflict as an opportunity to analyze the situation objectively, assess the needs of both parties and come up with a solution that helps you both.

8. Trying to ‘Win’ The Argument:
I love it when Dr. Phil says that if people are focused on ‘winning’ the argument, “the relationship loses”! The point of a relationship discussion should be mutual understanding and coming to an agreement or resolution that respects everyone’s needs. If you’re making a case for how wrong the other person is, discounting their feelings, and staying stuck in your point of view, your focused in the wrong direction!

9. Making Character Attacks:
Sometimes people take any negative action from a partner and blow it up into a personality flaw. (For example, if a husband leaves his socks lying around, looking it as a character flaw and label him ‘inconsiderate and lazy’, or, if a woman wants to discuss a problem with the relationship, labeling her ‘needy’, ‘controlling’ or ‘too demanding’.) This creates negative perceptions on both sides. Remember to respect the person, even if you don’t like the behavior.

10. Stonewalling:
When one partner wants to discuss troubling issues in the relationship, sometimes people defensively stonewall, or refuse to talk or listen to their partner. This shows disrespect and, in certain situations, even contempt, while at the same time letting the underlying conflict grow. Stonewalling solves nothing, but creates hard feelings and damages relationships. It’s much better to listen and discuss things in a respectful manner.

This is a brief insight into addressing conflict with a colleague.

Resolving Conflicts with Colleagues

Think of a colleague/subordinate with whom you have an acknowledged conflict and analyse the situation using the following 4 Step process:

Step 1
Recognise the problem• Is the problem important enough to acknowledge?

Step 2
Try to understand each other’s position• Write down your own thoughts and feelings about the conflict.• Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and write down your perception of how the other person thinks and feels about the conflict and what thoughts or feelings he or she attributes to you.

Step 3
Discuss the problem• How would you define the problem? Would the other person’s definition of the problem differ? If so, how?• How do you think the other person perceives his or her own contribution, if any, to the conflict?• What is your perception of your own, if any, contributions to the problem?• Is there a hidden agenda? What do you think it is?• Is there any common ground between you? What is it?

Step 4
Resolve the problem• What is your preferred solution to the problem?• What are the advantages and disadvantages of your solution?• How would your solution be implemented? Would you use a third party?Have you ever had conflict with a Colleague and if so how did you deal with it?

Signs of Depression

Confusion tends to surround Depression, this is a basic look at what depression is.

I don't know if it will be of interest but to know about it may help in understanding it if you see it in yourself your colleagues or members of the public.

What is depression

The word 'depression' is used to describe everyday feelings of low mood which can affect us all from time to time. Feeling sad or fed up is a normal reaction to experiences that are upsetting, stressful or difficult; those feelings will usually pass. If you are affected by depression, you are not 'just' sad or upset. You have an illness which means that intense feeling of persistent sadness, helplessness and hopelessness are accompanied by physical effects such as sleeplessness, a loss of energy, or physical aches and pains.

Sometimes people may not realise how depressed they are, especially if they have been feeling the same for a long time, if they have been trying to cope with their depression by keeping themselves busy, or if their depressive symptoms are more physical than emotional.

Here is a list of the most common symptoms of depression. As a general rule, if you have experienced four or more of these symptoms, for most of the day nearly every day, for over two weeks, then you should seek help.
Tiredness and loss of energy
Persistent sadness
Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
Difficulty concentrating
Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting
Undue feelings of guilt or worthlessness
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
Sleeping problems - difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends
Finding it hard to function at work/college/school
Loss of appetite
Loss of sex drive and/ or sexual problems
Physical aches and pains
Thinking about suicide and death Self-harm

I hope this is of some help

Stress Buster

How to Bust Your Stress before it can Burst You?

Constant stress can ruin your spirit, your motivation level and may even lead to a condition called COD-Compulsive Obsessive Disorder. Stress in you corrupts your motivation and you may even start wondering whether the life that you are leading is a meaningful one or not.

Under stress, you are easily charmed towards negative attributes such as smoking, addiction to alcohol and procrastination. By resorting to alcohol, you will get a false relief and this debilitating trait will enable you to lose your self-confidence and inner strength. At certain level, you will even start questioning the very purpose of your life.

The effects of stress are well known and the moment you feel the stress, you must decide to do something to handle it, lest the stress will burst you. Stressors also capable of affecting your spiritual well being, which lead to suspicion, jealousy, poor interpersonal relationship and sexual problems.The effect of stress is a chain reaction that will lead you to loneliness and a sense of inadequacy.

Under stress, your concentration level will take a beating and this may lead to accidents in factory or on roads.Stress in your life cannot be avoided altogether. You must learn how to bust your stress before it can start affecting you. Normally when you are under stress, you may fail to notice that you are under stress. But, if you can carefully analyse, you will be able to differentiate your stressful situations from that your normal situations.

The first step that you should put forward is to tackle the stress at its initial stage itself. You are aware that there are so many stress-busting techniques and you can start practicing them to get rid of your stress. You should develop your knowledge about possible stressors that can set in stress in you and know the possible ways to cope with them.

Majority of your stressful situations can be converted to a pleasant one with a slight change in your attitude and a strong will. You can learn to take your stress in your stride and start looking the stressors as an opportunity to show your excellence.

If you analyse your mental attitude carefully, you will understand that the stress in you was caused more from your opinion about the situation than that of the stressor itself.In this twenty-first century, stress is the most common cause for many of your ailments today, and the same is likely to continue without any respite. Hence, your life will be a battle against stress on an ongoing basis.

Coping with your stress is an ongoing process and your attitude and ability to cope with stress should not come down at any point of time, lest stress can burst you before you can bust it

Mark Reddy