Any business that has more than ONE member will always encounter conflict. Being one of those persons who has gone through so many jobs starting at an early age, I’ve learned and violated (and at times, still violate) so many of the things I will discuss below. Pardon the lengthiness of the contribution…
People feel the need to “Rescue” others and think that being the hero is something they HAVE to be
– The problem with being a hero is that you NEED a villain. Targeting an enemy and believing that any and all bad things are caused by them, as if there is some big evil conspiracy. The main issue with being a hero is that we don’t see our own flaws because we are too busy looking for flaws in others. Leaders don’t need enemies; Nor do they care that they have flaws.
All the negativity leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy
– Sometimes we try too hard to prove that there is something wrong… and in the end, we cause things to go wrong by rousing suspicion, becoming subjective instead of objective and contributing to situations that are blown out of proportion.
We all have a role to play
– Job Descriptions are set because every employee contributes to how a company functions. You may be able to offer more than what is needed of you, but your PRIMARY responsibility will always be to fulfil your role. Opportunities will present themselves soon enough. Do not ever lose hope. Remember, draw the right attention. You get further by consistently impressing your colleagues and suggesting solutions than you ever will by consistently complaining and causing unrest.
The false belief that the more people back us up, the more correct we are.
– Righteousness is overrated. We see something wrong and we think it is only right to gather people to support our cause. The fact is, nobody is perfect. People make mistakes, people make bad decisions but nobody is 100% pure evil regardless of what we want to believe. So before you attack and gather your angry mob, ask yourself… Can this be handled better?
When we hear the word “corrupt” we automatically associate it with People in High Positions
– We feel that those above us are corrupt, hence we, the ones below, are victims. Reality check – you don’t need power to be corrupt, you don’t need to be evil to cause corruption and just because we see corruption, doesn’t mean we are incorruptible. To be corrupt is to be dishonest, to lack integrity, to lack objectivity, to see something good or bad and inject malice into it. To be corrupted is to always feel that you are the target even though you are not. Corrupted people will read this, think it’s about them and react negatively. Why? Because Corruption can be fueled by Vanity.
Creating stories from “sources”, making interpretations from hearsay and using our emotions instead of our brains
– We all know how gossip starts. One person says something, another person relays the story but with added or missing details, the story reaches a subjective person with whom the story gets interpreted negatively, the story reaches an objective person who investigates… and a conflict arises from opposing sides. Any work decision that is made because of an emotional response, is foolish and destructive.
We (or at least, I) take for granted the positive things because we see good as normal and bad as abnormal.
– Good and Bad are two sides of the same coin. We forget to be thankful for the money we make, the opportunities we have and the people we are with; because we think too much about comparing ourselves with others, thinking about what we don’t have, what we didn’t reach and how many “bad” people we hate.
People have opinions about everything and everybody, even ourselves… but we hadly take ownership of these opinions or their consequences.
– We all like to think our opinions matter… and they do. We are all parts of the same machine so we are entitled to our own opinions. But trust me when I say, some opinions are best left unsaid. Based on experience, acting like a know-it-all and answering like a smart-ass creates problems, conflicts and unsavory prejudice. Pick your battles, pick your audience, pick your words. And if you slip-up, make a mistake, fail… take ownership. Admit, don’t justify, apologize.
People are more aware and a whole lot smarter than we think
– “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
– You can make up all the reasons in the world, but the fact of the matter is, someone will know the truth. Someone will always know the truth. I’m not saying we are all a bunch of liars. But the fact is, we lie. small lies, big lies, etc… because at times we need to. There are private matters we need to protect and issues that shouldn’t be out in the open… so we lie. It’s the outright ABUSE of lying that it so detestable. Our reasons for absences, reasons for poor performance, reasons why we bully others, reasons why we act the way we do; all those half-truths and white lies are easy to catch. Why? because People are more aware and a whole lot smarter than we think.
We want others to fight our battles for us
– We rely on mentors, superiors and those we look up to to solve or face problems… and yes, often times, that’s what they are there for. But to constantly run to someone for help is counterproductive. We think that having someone at the top is a tool to change things. That is rarely the case. Never “use” a person for personal gain. Never expect changes to happen without having to face the problem on your own. As the saying goes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
We feel that we are entitled to rewards for doing our jobs
– Here’s the thing, we are supposed to do our jobs. And the reward? Our Salary. Yes we deserve the occasional pat on the back for a job well done, or for excelling beyond expectations, but we can’t demand more without delivering more. You feel you are multitalented? then show them what you can do. Excel beyond the limits set. Don’t be content with the status quo. You’ll find your reward eventually. Bear in mind though that there is a huge difference between helping and meddling. All in due time.
We Pick Sides or Often, We Play Sides
– One of the most irritating practices that should be avoided is picking sides. Picking sides is like choosing between being Bully A or Bully B. The worst is enjoying the spectacle of arguments by playing two opposing ideas and feeding conflicting information. Sides are hindrances to harmony. A conflict of beliefs or multiple versions of the same story can and should be reconciled. To not do so is the same as sabotage.
We view and sometimes use Groups to create opposing teams.
– There are groups in any company. A group of friends, a group of colleagues, a department, a shift team, etc. Groups provide a certain level of comfort and protection. Groups are fun and truly useful. No matter how anyone will try, groups can never be eliminated in a company. There’s this old and actually non-universal saying, “Birds of the same feather flock together”. and sometimes, they do. BUT Groups are NOT indications of sides; nor should they ever be. As employees of the same company we need to have, first and foremost, a goal. There are no vendettas, no conspiracies and issues that should hinder us from achieving company goals.
Never let your personal issues, emotional baggage and conflicts with others be the reason why working becomes difficult.
– The truth is, you’re not going to like everyone you work with. Some will be arrogant, some dramatic, some overly needy. There will be a lot of reasons for people not to get along. Nobody can FORCE you to like each other either. But as employees you NEED to work together. If you actively make it difficult for others to work with you because you can’t separate personal from professional, then you fail everyone at work. If you treat people differently, some nice, some aggressively, some with a smile, some with a frown; then you need to learn how to be more civil and professional. Stop taking things so seriously.
We don’t want to be employees forever. Create a plan and learn to endure. If rules are not for you and everything is an outrage. Then Work even harder! Work Hard to become your own Boss. Everyone needs to work to live. Use every stepping stone you can to succeed and earn; then start your own business, with or without rules. It’ll be your business to manage. But remember one hard truth, as long as your are employed by someone else, their rules apply.