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(C)ommuicate Away From Conflict To Become A Millionaire

Posted Jul 26 2008 10:18am

True Story.  A colleague of mine had an interdepartmental meeting with two of his team members.  As the meeting progressed, so did the challenges as they went from from a neutral starting point to a one-sided heated discussion with one of the team members.  All of a sudden, this person got up, open the door, walked out and launch his tablet across the department hitting a cubicle wall.  On the other side was someone intently working.  The situation escalated from the meeting room to also include the person on the receiving end of the tablet launch.  What happened to open and honest communication?   It appears there was a breakdown.

In today’s workplace, emotions can run high as more demands are put on our limited time without additional resources.  We begin to feel overwhelmed and out of control.  I know of a women that would hyperventilate when it just got to be too much for her.  Communication in the workplace begins and ends before any situation has a chance to escalate or even start.  A breakdown in communication is the result of how we should be stepping it up to better our communication methods.

Organizational conflict cost the company money in the form of stress related illness, lost time at work due to avoidance, as well as lower morale and productivity.  It also may cost the organization in legal fees if employees feel threatened or harassed by co-workers.  What are the solutions?  How can we take out an insurance policy on organizational communication?

Solutions range from

  • professional coaching
  • conflict training
  • team building
  • anger and crisis management
  • work/life balance training

The million dollar answer is  knowing how to communicate effectively where both people are respected in the disagreement.  We need to develop skills that become a permenant part of how we deal with others.  This will help us form a collaborative environment coming to the best solution even though it may not be in our favor.

If these points earn you $250,000 each, would you pursue them with passion and intensity?

Be an active listener more than an active talker. 

Visualize yourself with HUGE elephant ears to stay focus on the message.

Ask questions. 

When we ask the right questions at the right time, we come across as a person who truly cares and wants to learn more about us.  What is the “right” question?  Any question that stays on point of the conversation.

Don’t let your body language give you away. 

If we listen intently, ask the right questions but we stand there with clenched fist and a puzzled look, we are communicating that we truly have no desire to be there or learn more.  Be conscious of your body language and the suttle ques your facial expression and tone may be transmitting.

Be truly concerned.

If you can’t be concerned or aren’t interested in another’s ideas, do yourself and the other person a favor…. get off the project, move out of the department or assign someone else to take your place.  Otherwise, the cost to your business could be in the thousands or millions depending upon the eventual negative outcome.

A small investment in ourselves and a conscious effort to see others point of view, goes along way in increasing our professionalism in the workplace.  People see us as friendly, easy to work with, and easy to deal with.  Eventually, this leads us to a positive increase in our professional back accounts. 

Be healthy and fabulous!

 Sandra

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