Work

Learning to deal with conflict

I am sure, like you, there have been many times over your career where you will suffer from some form of conflict in your working day. So often I have seen it, where this can be quite minor in nature but has the capacity to blow up into something much larger than it should.

Take this example from many years ago, I was working in close proximity to group of finance staff members. One of the team used to sing gently in front of her screen whilst processing transactions into the finance system. Unfortunately, this was loud enough to be disturbing for another colleague who made it very clear what they thought. As you can imagine, the conflict grew to such an extent, HR was involved, counselling for the staff members was engaged and ultimately led to one staff member self exiting the organisation. Now this is an extreme example but if a cost financially and the wellness of the staff was measured, this would prove to be a costly and disruptive situation.

Personally, one of my best experiences has been whilst working with the professionals within the Future Proof Australia entity. My experiences have given the ability to learn and understand that differences of opinion does not mean there’s a problem. In fact, we have demonstrated to our clients and ourselves over and over, that differing points of view can end up resulting in better decisions.

Now hanging on to opinions and not being willing to work with the situation will lead to conflict, there is no question of that. But learning to compromise, understand there are differences in culture, education and personal characteristics that can influence an opinion, is a journey my colleagues and I have experienced and as a result have been able to manage upcoming conflict with greater skill and accuracy. However, two critically important skills that I personally think everyone should develop in their roles are:

  • Giving people respect for a differing opinion
  • Communication in an clear and respectful  manner to express what you may want and why you might want it

At Future Proof Australia this is how we practice our engagements with each other everyday. What I have learnt is together in a team when everyone shares these same skills, this becomes a powerful format that really does reduce conflict and drives up efficiency many times over. I’m proud to say, this is just another example of how the Future Proof Australia team work together.

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