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Bridging Differences: Dealing with Conflict in the WorkPlace

Many successful people are very determined and strive to utilize their view or perception of how a given situation or task should be handled. Organizations are continually looking for successful people to make up their workforce, whether it's the people in management, your R&D group, or out in the plant. So, having an organization with resolute professionals is a good thing . . . . . . right' It may well be, however it can create conflict.

Conflict is often described as two or more opposing sides with Winners and Losers. When people are involved in conflicts in the workplace, a negative energy is frequently associated with the those closest to the issue. This negative energy can be generated by staff and the management team. So what is really causing this conflict? Often it's creativity!

The creativity generated by the high-performing people you look for is frequently so different from the present view that it is often not readily accepted. Even worse, there are times when it's not even explored, and leads to a missed opportunity. Ask yourself, "what came first - the chicken, or the egg?" It really doesn't matter if you kill the chicken.

So what's the key to managing conflict? Embracing the exploration of another's point of view! Teaching, mentoring, and facilitating your organization in the art of exploration, collaboration, and bridging differences.

When conflict arises, it is generally due to a personal style of dealing with the stress generated by the project or situation we are trying to complete, or when we are searching for answers to resolve an issue.

Dealing with the different personalities and their way of dealing with conflict is best addressed through a facilitated session that explores the personalities who make up the workplace. This diversity is what makes successful organizations successful. Invest in the time and training needed for your people to learn about themselves and the rest of the team.

Former USNRC Commissioner Shirley Jackson once stated something to the effect that in a room filled with people nodding their heads 'yes,' the one person shaking her head 'no' may be the one with the most to offer in solving the issue at hand.

At the WorkPlace Cornerstone Group, we believe work environments that practice open, two-way communication when resolving conflict will not only find the answers, but will find the right answers. So . . . . . . when we keep an open mind and collaborate, we might just find out why the chicken crossed the road. Who knows . . . . . it might have been a vital business decision.
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