Sunday 14 August 2011

Dealing with conflict

Hey folks! How are you doing? I know, I've broken my vow to blog weekly. But I'm here today!

Lots of things have happened since I last wrote, but I'll focus on one thing. I've learned that the best way to deal with conflict is to confront the source of the issue. It can pay off handsomely. I remember someone saying that confrontation didn't have to be a problem, and I have to say that I agree.

There is a person I work with who up a till a couple of weeks ago was a total pain; a really annoying, and at times, utterly obnoxious individual. They are one of those people who revel in how bright they are and want the whole world to do the same. For sure they are very talented, but they have been using this to try and promote themselves rather than waiting until their character is sufficiently formed to be able to handle the status they quite clearly have their eye on.

I would go home after a day's work enraged at this person and their many indiscretions. I didn't say or do anything initially because I wanted to be absolutely certain that I had got my facts right and that I wasn't imagining the whole thing. Then a couple of months ago, over a period of two weeks, I came across evidence in black and white which proved that I had been correct about this person and their behaviour; the things that I had seen in her attitude and behaviour were real. I no longer needed to torment myself over whether or not I was imagining things. I decided to confront the individual concerned about what I had observed and the things that I was unhappy about.

Firstly, I gave them the opportunity to speak so that they could air any grievances that they may have against me. Surprisingly they appeared to have none, which made her behaviour seem all the more bizarre.

I then drew some boundary lines and let them know what was appropriate and inappropriate in how we were to work together. At certain points their interjections seemed just ludricrous - the solutions were obvious if they would just stop trying to get their own way all the time and consider others. I said everything I had to say and then it was over. The anger which had been burning away on the inside disappeared. My peace of mind was restored and work was no longer the drudge that it had been up until that point.

It fixed in my mind permanently that the best way to stop a situation from getting out of control is to tackle it when it first happens. I shouldn't have waited as long as I did, even if I was unsure at first that they were being insolent. Saying what I had in my heart was like a release and was very liberating for me.

I would encourage everyone, to always confront situations that are robbing you of your peace and joy. Don't let them continue unchecked. It is more than likely that you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.