Many of my clients experience communication gaps because they are not in the same locations and they work on their own special projects.
Conflict in the workplace exists because communication loops are not completed and expectations are not expressed. This blog post will cover 2 tools that you may have read in my other posts. I feel that it is worth reviewing Be Direct with Respect® and Verbal Aikido. These are tools that can be used daily to reduce conflict in your workplace.
I recently had the privilege of working with the Ely District Bureau of Land Management in Ely Nevada. There were Archeologists, Biologists, Special Legislation Program Managers, Geologists, and other BLM specialists who attended the Team Building Program.
This impressive group is responsible for 11 1/2 million acres in the areas of fire, fuel control, support services, accounting, contracting, maintenance of roads, recreation sites, fences, grazing, wild horses plus so many other issues concerning requests and actions on public land. This group feels passionate about what they do for the public and their enthusiasm is something that I don’t get a chance to see very often.
I hope that you enjoy reading the tips that we covered during the training. They will improve communication skills to reduce conflict in your workplace. They are ideas that you can use immediately.
1. The Power Talk Formula
This tool is perfect to use with colleagues, managers, the public or even your family.
I am ______________________your emotional response
Because___________________how it effects you
“I am frustrated when I continuously repeat my concerns about the team gossip because this negativity is decreasing the morale for all of us.”
“I am thrilled when I see the team working on completing the communication loop because this will help remove some of the our daily stress.”
Remember NOT to use the words “you,” “but” or “should”. These words make others feel defensive. If someone becomes defensive it could be a signal that your communication caused the other person to push back.
Pay attention to your tone of voice and the words that you use.
2. Verbal Aikido
Remember that the person who pulls back is the stronger one in the conversation. Verbal Aikido helps you diplomatically deal with difficult people and bullies.
Here are some tips to use the next time someone pushes you:
- Take a deep breath
- Do your best to remind yourself not to push back
- Agree with the person by saying something like,
“I agree that I did not get back to you immediately.
Let’s take care of this right now while we have each other on the phone.”
This example does not contain any excuses which causes others to push us even more. We are all tired of excuses.
- Ask a question when someone says, “You are always so negative.” Your response could be, “Always?” or “Specifically tell me when I was negative.” Be prepared to hear the feedback and not push back by getting defensive.
I know about this first hand when an audience gives constructive feedback. I do my best to listen openly because those are times when I learn about myself.
Martin Luther King Jr said,
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Below is a photo of Joyce with Special Legislation Management and Program Analyst Elena Montenegro-Long, Special Legislation Program Manager Carol Bass, Archaeologist Leslie Riley, and Biologist Marian Lichtler.
Check out these 2 videos from Elena Montenegro-Long and Leslie Riley on what they learned from the Team Building Program:
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Feel free to share these tips with your team-just be sure to give Joyce credit when you share or publish.
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Until our next visit,
This is Joyce Weiss
“You get what you tolerate!”