18 Jan

Securing Happiness Through Solving Conflicts

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 18.01.13 by John Meloche

All week long, we have focused our blogs on the concept of resolving issues in the work place. All throughout Canada, hockey fans are excited about the fact that the biggest issue over the past several months has finally been resolved. That, of course, would be the NHL lockout. It officially becomes a thing of the past when teams take to the ice to start the season tomorrow.

Conflicts are bound to happen. Hopefully, they don’t occur in your business as much as they do in the National Hockey League, but nevertheless, they will happen. Although we’re well equipped on how to deal with conflict – given our blogs this week – perhaps the best person to help us with conflict resolution is Alexander Kjerulf. He happens to also be known as “The Chief Happiness Officer”.

He admits that dodging conflicts on the job is just about impossible, but Kjerulf’s ability to find happiness in any situation has helped him to be somewhat of an expert in the field of settling problems. On PositiveSharing.com, he writes about five essential steps to resolving conflict at work.

Realize that conflicts are inevitable at work. Conflicts are the result of employees that care, insists Kjerulf. If disagreements didn’t occur at your business, it would be sign of an unmotivated staff. This doesn’t make a conflict a good thing – although it’s a good sign. It means that you have employed staff members who care enough to disagree. Would you prefer an “I don’t care” attitude when it comes to your company? We didn’t think so.

Handle conflict sooner rather than later. According to Kjerulf, “this is the single most important tip to successfully resolve conflicts”. Taking care of problems early is an important step in conflict resolution. Don’t let them fester and grow. Pretending that things are fine when they aren’t will only breed more conflict. Often, it is what isn’t said that leads to the biggest problems.

Ask! Says Kjerulf, “if somebody has done something that made you angry, if you don’t understand somebody’s viewpoint, if you don’t understand their actions – ask!” Not knowing is usually a cause for not understanding – which is often a cause for not agreeing. Be sure to ask nicely, he reminds us. Don’t assume you know the answer until you receive it. Sometimes, there’s a perfectly good reason, and knowing it will help to quell the dispute.

Giraffe language. Perhaps, we will dedicate another blog to better explain this concept as it has many steps: Invitation, Observation, Apologize, Appreciate, Consequences, Objective and Request. The end result of utilizing this method of addressing a conflict is gettting a better understanding of your opponent so that you can find a common ground where you have developed a mutual respect for each other.

Get meditation. Find a way to get the individuals involved in the conflict to find the good in each other. An interesting way to do this is to ask each person what they most appreciate about the other person. It may help to find the reason that it’s so important that they argue with each other in an attempt to get one to see the other’s side. The end results of such “meditation” may surprise you.

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