Reducing conflict in the workplace can add productive hours to your day.
“If only I had more hours in the day.” How many times have you uttered those words?
If you’re like most people, you either think it or say it daily. The good news is that we all have more time accessible to us. The bad news is that we often let others steal it from us.
Consider these statistics: International Communications Research in New York surveyed over 1,000 people on how many minutes per day they are interrupted by things that they don’t want to do (not including email). Over 42 percent of those surveyed admit that they spend 100 minutes or more every day on interruptions.
This breaks down to the following:
100 minutes (1-2/3 hours) per day
11-2/3 hours per week
26 days per year
5 weeks of vacation
Surprising, isn’t it? While you can’t make up for lost time, you can have more time to do what you want to do – starting today! The secret is to use Be Direct with Respect® principles.
Be Direct with Respect Strategy #1 to Reduce Conflict in the Workplace
When someone asks, “Can I have five minutes of your time?” the natural response is to say, “Sure,” even though you really don’t have five minutes. And you know those five minutes will grow into 15, 20, or even 30 minutes.
A better response is, “Sure, I’d love to help you. Let me call you when I’m done with this project; we can talk then.” You are still engaging the person, but you’re doing it on your terms and your timeline, not theirs.
Be Direct with Respect Strategy #2 to Reduce Conflict in the Workplace
When someone tries to start a friendly conversation with you or engage in small talk and you don’t have the time, the usual response is to stop what you’re doing and talk. After all, you don’t want to be rude.
A better response is, “I’d love to hear more about your grandkids (or your new project, the new clients, etc.).
Right now I have a meeting (or a deadline to meet, a report to finish, a doctor’s appointment, etc.). Let’s talk about this later today when I’m available.” Again, it’s just a matter of redirecting the person to your timeline.
Be Direct with Respect Strategy #3 to Reduce Conflict in the Workplace
What can you do when you are in a planned one-hour meeting with someone, the hour is almost up, and the other person shows no intention of leaving or ending the conversation? Do you let the meeting run over, and disrupt your entire day’s schedule?
A better approach is, “Our time is just about up. Why don’t we use the remaining few minutes to decide when we’ll meet again to complete this discussion?” At that point, the person may suddenly sum up all the key points. Then if additional time is needed, you’re doing it according to your schedule.
Take Back Your Time to Reduce Conflict in the Workplace
Being Direct with Respect is a skill that enables you to stop interruptions at work or home to accomplish necessary tasks. It’s an art to tell others that you can’t take care of their needs immediately without sounding like a selfish person. When you’re Direct with Respect, you can do what you need and want to do and get the respect from others at the same time.
By developing these three Direct with Respect strategies, you can add 26 days to your year!
Read More to discover how to reduce conflict in the workplace. We can work together to help YOU become a master communicator.
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This is Joyce Weiss
Corporate Communication Strategist and Career Coach
Until next time, Remember…”You Get What You Tolerate!”