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.