Nearly all of us, at some time in our working lives, have to deal with difficult situations and difficult people. We therefore need to learn how to manage conflict to make sure that we continue enjoying going to work and building effective and efficient working relationships. Conflict can at best cause unproductive work days, and often leads to stress-related problems that result in sickness and absence from work. There is even a possibility of it ending in your losing or resigning from your job. According to the 2007 UK Chartered Management of Personnel & Development (CIPD) Absence Management survey report, management styles are the number-one cause of stress at work. Conflict is likely to be due to one or a combination of the following reasons:
deadlines and time constraints;
having different immediate goals (needs), or different
values and things that are important to us;
having a different approach to situations (eg work styles);
incorrect perception of situations and people.
Bear in mind that what one party perceives as conflict may not be seen as such by the other party. Remember too that some people may seem ‘difficult’ because of the way we interact with them. We may have created the difficulty in the first place, or they may have personality issues and difficult characteristics.
Conflict most often occurs when the needs of both parties are not being met in some way so it may be that you have to arrive at a compromise as, in the words of Napoleon Hill:
‘There are three sides to most disagreements: your side, the other person’s side, and the right side… which is probably somewhere in the middle.’ The most efficient and effective way to agree on the ‘middle’ is by being assertive.
If you want to shine in your role, take a look at the training courses we offer at Bingo Traders. Designed specifically for EAs, PAs, HR, Admins, Office Managers,… , these learning opportunities provide the skills and knowledge you’ll need to excel.
Sue France / Photo on Unsplash