Bravery alone won't resolve conflict
Tribune Media Services
Daneen Skube's first book, "Interpersonal Edge — Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, about Anything" (Hay House) is out and she will have three local book signings:
Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main. St., Seattle.
April 20, 7:30 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 1530 11th Ave. NW, Issaquah.
April 27, 7 p.m. University Book Store, Bellevue store, 990 102nd Ave. N.E.
Q: A co-worker got really mad and is now undermining me openly. As far as I can tell, I've made the problem worse. Aren't you supposed to deal directly with people when there's a problem?
A: Yes. Unfortunately most of us don't have good tools for dealing with conflict, so we unintentionally make things worse.
The good news is, you clearly have courage and integrity because you did take a risk to improve your situation. The bad news is, you didn't realize you needed some skill in addition to bravery.
Most people have two popular myths about fighting at work:
• Intelligent, competent people shouldn't have conflict.
• If there is a conflict, the other person is a jerk and should be punished.
Conflict is actually a normal byproduct of human interaction.
We can't possibly always have the same agendas, the same needs, and never misunderstand each other. When we have frequent contact with another, each of us will eventually make the other mad. Conflict at work is a lot like getting in deep water. The water isn't inherently dangerous, but if you jump in without learning to swim, you'll drown.
The last word(s)
Q: I'm thinking of forming a business partnership with a colleague. But she has stood me up for several meetings, and not followed through on promises. I stand to gain a lot if the partnership succeeds. Should I try talking to her?
A: No. Your words will have little influence on this woman because her disrespectful behavior has already told you volumes.
Daneen Skube, Ph.D., is an executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker. She can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at email@example.com; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry, no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to: www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube
Copyright 2006, Tribune Media Services