Tuesday, 18 September 2018

3 important tools to manage Workplace Conflict

Meera is a dedicated employee, and as usual, she has planned her day.

9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.  Activity A
10:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.  Activity B

She logs into her system, and while she was in the middle of activity A, her friend comes and ask her for a coffee. Meera is in a dilemma as she has already planned her day. She tells her friend,” No, I can’t come I have a task to finish.” However, her friend insists her to come to the canteen only for ten minutes. Meera obliges and says “Ok, I will come.” They go for a coffee and meet a few other colleagues, and in a chit-chat, Meera realizes its already 20 minutes.

1. Assertiveness to handle workplace conflicts

What went wrong with Meera? Meera did communicate with her friend that she cannot come, but the message was not crisp. On the contrary, if she would have replied, “I am sorry I can’t come now. I have to finish this task and mail the report to the manager by 11 o’clock. Why don’t we go for a coffee after that? I would love to accompany you.” Her friend would have understood that she is swamped.

Giving another option would also have made her comfortable because it would have conveyed the message that Meera wants to join but she can’t, due to other priorities.

What is most important when it comes to the workplace and getting the work done at your workplace? My answer would be Communication and if I have to be more precise Effective Communication.

Whether you are an individual contributor, team member or a manager your way of communicating things play a significant role in your daily tasks and determines your efficiency.

Be Assertive in your Communications!

 2Communication Barriers triggers conflicts at workplace

Gaurav is a team member of 5 employees. He is energetic, young and disciplined. His team is working on a customer satisfaction survey. His Manager calls him and asks him to get the latest sales report from the Marketing Department, which they will use for preparing the survey questions.

He writes an email to the concerned department which is something like below-

Hello Sir,
Myself Gaurav, from Corporate Communication. We are planning to conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey. We need the latest Sales report for the same.
Request you to share the details please as soon as possible.
Thanks in advance.

After 3 Days, the manager asks Gaurav to share the report. Gaurav realizes that he has not got the details. What do you think is the mistake in Gaurav’s email?

He has communicated the requirement and the need, but he missed on some key details.

Hello Sir,
Myself Gaurav, from Corporate Communication. We are planning to conduct a customer satisfaction Survey by the end of this month. We need the latest Sales report for the same.
Request you to please share the details latest by tomorrow end of the day.
Thanks in advance.

Just by adding time to the written communication the same information becomes crisp and precise. The Receiver can understand the priority and the urgency of the data. In case, if the response is still not received Gaurav can send a reminder and ask for the reason for the delay.

3. Communication as an Art

Mr. Iyer is the manager of the 15-member team. All of his team members are outstanding and productive employees. Recently Mr. Iyer and his team have been given the responsibility to complete a significant project - Project X. This project also has high risks involved. The team started off well but off late Mr. Iyer is experiencing some discontentment and dissatisfaction within the group. He was discussing the same to his Leadership counselor, and the counselor after asking specific questions to Mr. Iyer tells him to change a few things in his way of communication.

He asked Mr. Iyer to communicate all decisions taken at management level clearly and with the reasons behind them to his team.

Secondly, he asked Mr. Iyer to make his team member accountable for the work they are doing in the project X. Such action is primarily for a simple reason - everyone cares for his baby more.

Thirdly, he asks Mr. Iyer to develop trust within the team and to assure them that if anything goes wrong, he as a team manager is there to take care. 

So first think about the answer to the below questions which will lead to a positive work environment.

1.       Are you communicating all the critical information?
2.       Is the message crisp and clear?
3.       Have you identified all the Priorities?
4.       Are you afraid of saying NO?

Remember, Saying a NO is not being rude. The way you are communicating is where the secret lies.

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