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Category: Conflict Doctor answers your questions

A Conflict Analysis of Why

Question posed: I asked an acquaintance why he did something (he even admitted it was obviously stupid). He accused me of being judgmental, stormed away, and won’t speak to me. What did I do wrong? Answer: When emotions are high, ‘why’ is almost always the wrong question to ask. It’s when emotions are calm and supportive that ‘why’ shows interest in someone’s thoughts and feelings. Here’s why ‘why’ should be used with caution:

Role play a sustainability conflict

Four Tales, One City. The city where I live is in conflict over how to grow sustainably. The issue, as conflicts often do, turned into a war of words. The media fed on the conflicting points of view for over a month. While many called the fight an immature power struggle among City Hall’s elected representatives, bureaucrats, and industry, I analyzed it as normal. Conflict needn’t get personal and often does. Passion, not indifference, builds a great city. Conflicts are data about people who care enough to argue, which makes resolutions… Read more Role play a sustainability conflict

Conflict management helps reduce stress

Question posed: A co-worker and I have jobs that rely on each other for success, yet we can’t seem to work together. We either trip over each other doing the same task, or think the other person is doing it and it falls undone between us. What needs to change? Answer: Let’s say you divvy up the tasks exactly fairly and make a detailed list of who does what and when. If the issue is “we can’t seem to work together” then a list, however detailed, won’t solve the problem. Here are some… Read more Conflict management helps reduce stress

TIPs to improve work relationships

Question posed: I knew my friend had up and down moods before we started a business, so we were clear about our roles. Our small business is now successful and very busy with just us two working; how do I handle those moods keeping me uncertain and distracted? Answer: The business is successful (congratulations) so moods turned into an issue when the work model changed from startup to growth. Uncertainty and change are stressful, which contributes to blame, interferes with productivity, and can make you both feel unappreciated. Here’s a… Read more TIPs to improve work relationships

Conflicts from confused roles and responsibilities

Question posed: Two people in the office had a disagreement about a work assignment, which is challenging for the office manager. How do they fix the communication break down between those two so the work flows seamlessly again? Answer: Sounds like there’s more than one conflict in your office. In my conflict analysis I’d include the two employees’ work issues, communication issues, supervision issues, and also any barriers the office manager perceives to supervising. Let’s  sort some of that: