It’s a common scenario: Margaret is uncomfortable working with her new supervisor, who makes demeaning comments about women. She doesn’t trust him enough to confront him directly. The company has an anti-harassment program but she fears that filing a formal complaint would anger her supervisor. She could talk to HR or the unit manager, but she knows they represent the company, not the employees. She decides to endure the discomfort, turning to coworkers for emotional support. Over time, the unit’s culture erodes and employees disengage. Margaret dreads work and takes more and more time off. She eventually finds another job. The supervisor continues his behavior and the unit becomes increasingly less productive and profitable.
The Chinese symbol for conflict means danger + opportunity. Conflict can be an unpleasant threat…or it can provide unexpected benefits. It’s really up to you.
Since you will inevitably face disagreements in the workplace and in your personal relationships, here are some tips for transforming them into opportunities.
We are intricately intertwined with our partner. As a result, we often want them to change in good ways. Maybe their current behavior hurts us or others. Maybe we recognize their untapped potential. Maybe we want them to change because we love them and want them to live satisfying lives.
However, too often we go about "helping" our partner in the wrong ways. If we really want results and a better relationship, we should update our understanding of how to motivate.
Which are you – a lizard or a leader? Are you a lizard – someone who responds to situations instinctually and emotionally…with anger, for instance. Or are you a leader – in control of yourself…you choose when to respond emotionally. Do you wish you were in better control of your responses? Do you wish there was something you could do to increase your steadiness, your wisdom, your control, even your happiness?
Every one of us can improve our life by training our brain. And it’s not as difficult as you might think.