Relationships at work can be messy, unpleasant, and even harmful – How do we re-build & resolve conflict?
I have spent 30 years on the corporate battlefield listening to people’s issues. In this time I have developed a profound understanding of the real issues in the workplace as well as in family life. Research shows that regardless of our role or hierarchy in an organization when relationships break down, so does our performance, confidence, and bottom line.
As an executive coach specializing in dispute resolution, and emotional intelligence, 80% of my time is spent helping people work through difficult relationships at work. Workplace dynamics are mirrored by our relationships at home. When they’re good they are great, when they’re bad they impact everything.
Why do relationships at work break down?
Leadership insight shows the main reason why relationships break down at work is the lack of connection, conversation, and unresolved conflict. The most fundamental problem in the breakdown of any relationship is the lack of connection to ourselves and our fellow mates.
When we become disconnected from ourselves, we separate from each other.
Distraction is another key issue that impacts our disconnection and is the biggest single workplace issue I have come across. From the bedroom to the boardroom, the issues of leadership are the issues of life.
Disconnection from ourselves and each other
It is so easy to disconnect from what really matters when we have so much pressure to deliver the task. Disconnection comes in all shapes and sizes and we are all guilty of it. Too much time at work, we disconnect from our families. Too much time on the task we disconnect from our teams. No time invested in friendships, we become disconnected from our communities. With multiple priorities, we disconnect our brains.
Disconnection happens throughout our lives – We are social animals and we need each other. We cannot achieve alone.
Where there are people, there is drama
As a result of disconnection, we create drama. We in-fight, argue, and work in silos. It is the dynamics of our workplace family that cause the most hurt and pain. Our lack of competence doesn’t bring down peak performance – negative emotions erode our confidence.
When we’re stressed, we see red and with resentment, our egos take over. As we push each other over, we are blind to the impact of our stress-induced behavior.
The question is, do we re-build the relationship or throw in the towel?
73% of people say they want to re-build difficult relationships at work
At a recent Women into Leadership conference in Manchester, one of the FDA’s most prestigious events. I was invited by Kiren Kaur from Dods Diversity & Inclusion https://www.dodsdiversity.com/home.htm to run a session on re-building relationships in the workplace. We talked openly about how difficult and painful working relationships can be and the impact they can have on our self-confidence, motivation, and well-being.
We asked several poll questions to understand the impact:
- 65% of people said that difficult relationships at work & home had a negative impact on their lives
- 27% of people said these impacted their SELF-CONFIDENCE
- 24% of people said these impacted their WELLBEING
- 73% of people wanted to try and resolve them
So with all this pain and difficulty caused by relationships, how do we work them out? Relationship skills are the simplest to know, but the hardest to apply. These skills are seated in our emotional and social intelligence (EI).
Research has demonstrated that emotional intelligence is the key to the highest performers in the workplace. And unlike IQ, can be learned. I have been training emotional intelligence for over 10 years and can categorically say that these are the skills to learn if you want to re-build relationships at home or at work.https://www.feelgoodleadership.co.uk/feel-good-leadership/emotional-intelligence-crucial/
7 EI Skills to re-build relationships at work
We are desperate for connection and to be our authentic selves
When we positively connect, we come out of threat.
- Have the conversation you’ve been putting off
- Admit mistakes – Say sorry and mean it
- Be curious – Ask questions, stop ignoring and listen
- Ask 3 people for feedback – what do you do that has a negative impact?
- Decide what you are going to change – Start-stop-continue doing
- Smile – give eye contact
- Prioritize relationships over task – carve out ‘relationship time’ in your diary each day
If you are a leader, team member, or an organization interested in re-building relationships and learning the skills of emotional intelligence, please contact us https://www.feelgoodleadership.co.uk/contact-feel-good-leadership-programmes/
Find out more about our NEW Leadership Burst program for 2022. Delivered in just 6-8 weeks online personally by Jenny Rossiter and her team. workplaces.https://www.feelgoodleadership.co.uk/project/leadership-burst/