Keeping a Happy Workplace Environment

We all know that when you group individuals of varying personalities and skill levels together in a work environment it is not always going to be smooth sailing. Conflict does happen, but it is how it is dealt with that matters. If you oversee other staff and want your workplace to be stress free as much as possible this article will help you a lot! It explains how to manage conflict and reciprocal affects if it arises so professionalism is maintained.

Professional CHANNEL

Managing Challenging Behaviors at Work: Before They Manage You
Guest Contributors

With the current economic downturn, work level stress is climbing, often manifesting itself in those particularly delightful, difficult behaviors at work — withholding, arguing, blocking, withdrawal, among others. Before we chastise those enacting these behaviors, let’s remember we are all culpable of enacting these same behaviors from time to time! No matter, here are some takeaways for managing these challenging behaviors with aplomb.

Feelings then Facts
My scientist clients ask me why their employees can’t leave their feelings at home. The irony is that the scientists too bring their feelings to work, sometimes hiding them temporarily under the proverbial carpet (putting them in shadow where they ironically loom larger). The reality is that feelings, as long as we remain humans, are here to stay. The key is ever so simple. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. When you listen, do so without judgment and interpretation. Ask questions to show curiosity and to learn.

Remember that what you resist, simply persists. So if you discard or ignore someone’s concerns, they are not going to go away anytime soon. Paradoxically, they just multiply!

Empathize – Get in Their Shoes
We all know that when we tell our significant others that their perspective makes no sense, our relationship doesn’t seem to improve. Imagine that! Remember the old adage: “Would you rather be right or happy?” Rather than arguing with others’ perspectives (Yes, even when they seem irrational), consider the differing perspectives an opportunity to learn more about others. Ask questions to help you understand where they are coming from; the goal is to understand – not to be right. The goal is to imagine what it is like to live in their shoes.

Identify their Interests
Fisher and Ury, from the Harvard Negotiation Program discern between interests and positions. Your position is the end product – that which you most want. Perhaps you want a raise of “X” amount or to work on a different team – these are positions. Your interests are the underlying reasons you want what you want. Find out what is really important to the person by being curious. Your listening does not commit you to meeting their needs but begins the conversation and builds the relationship. It also provides opportunities for identifying options that meet both of your interests.

Give Feedback
If a colleague doesn’t answer any of your email requests, you need to address his/her lack of response. If a boss criticizes you in front of others, feedback is the way to go. Here are the key steps for giving effective feedback: