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Category: Conflict Doctor answers your questions

Disappointed Expectations are a Source of Conflict

Question posed: In your experience as a Conflict Doctor, what is the most common cause of conflicts? Answer: My analysis of the leading cause of conflict is disappointed expectations. Some examples of what we desire that someone else doesn’t deliver are: what you want accomplished doesn’t get done someone you love fails to meet your needs the quality of work you want falls short of your standards children aren’t quiet when you need silence and so on….. Another interesting observation about disappointment over unfulfilled expectations; the person who disappointed, often did not know… Read more Disappointed Expectations are a Source of Conflict

Positive behavior models at work

Question posed: Sure, these are tough times in lots of different contexts. But some of my colleagues are letting their personal anxiety make them testy and hard to get along with at work, which makes me wonder if they want to be fired for bad behaviour. How do I cope with them? Answer: Yes, difficult colleagues create an atmosphere that’s hard to breathe. It sounds like you understand reactions to tough times vary, and some people act out their fears and anxieties. Your compassion for what they are experiencing is… Read more Positive behavior models at work

You don’t need permission to change a conflict

Question posed: I would like TIPs to survive when I have no power or high job title to make changes to the toxic environment I work in or ability to fire the stupid people on my team. Answer: I’ll assume you want to stay at this job, and the TIPs are how to make work more pleasant. Power or job title doesn’t control change. Presidents and CEOs of companies can control policy and financial decisions, and offer incentives to try to affect behaviour. Rarely can they control behaviour without backlash… Read more You don’t need permission to change a conflict

Conflict is a Relationship

Question posed: My dear friend and I stopped talking to each other after a huge disagreement. As far as I’m concerned, the relationship is over like we’ve divorced, or I fired my friend. Yet, that fight and my ex-friend is all I seem to talk about when I see others who know us both,. What’s that about and how do I move on? Answer: Some people, and this apparently includes you, believe that conflict breaks relationships as if the relationship no longer exists. In fact, conflict ties the conflicting people in… Read more Conflict is a Relationship

It Depends: Finding balance in conflict

Question posed: My two siblings are in a conflict and asked me to chose a side, like casting a deciding vote. I said I’m neutral, which upset them both. I have an opinion on who’s correct, but don’t want to get involved. Should I tell them my decision? Answer: It must feel like whatever you chose to do, you lose. You’ve tried three options: to steer clear, be neutral, and offer an opinion, none of which they accepted. They won’t retreat from their one option of you choosing, which you’ve refused… Read more It Depends: Finding balance in conflict