Four Conflict Styles of Communication

Most people hate conflict and will do what they can to avoid it. However, when we interact with others, there will be disagreements from time to time. Our words are our weapons of choice. Use them sparingly and we may be taken advantage by other coworkers. Use them too quick or often and we run the chance of being viewed as a workplace bully. We have the right to defend ourselves but it’s a delicate balance between ignoring a rude remark and speaking up.

Assertive Communication

Assertive communicators think win-win. They will pursue what is due them but not at the exclusion of anyone else. The assertive individual understands all co-workers have rights and are to be treated with respect. They are generally easy to get along with, yet will maintain organizational policies and standards. This type of positive communication style is good for the overall morale of the group and is generally expected of those in leadership positions.

Aggressive Communication

In short, an aggressive communicator is a bully. They consider their wants above the needs of others and look for those to exploit. However, their tactics may not be overt and more manipulative in nature. They are fine to take advantage of others if it will make their own jobs easier.

A bully only respects one thing: strength. If you are correct and have a right to something, be willing to confront them. Address their behavior as unacceptable. This

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may seem obvious but on a deeper level it is a show of strength. Of course, it is always necessary to assess the total damage of kicking over the euphemistic beehive in the workplace. What will be the repercussions of standing up to an aggressive communicator if that person is your boss? Once they know you will stand up to them, bullies will generally leave you for other prey elsewhere.

Passive Communication

The passive communicator is a perpetual people-pleaser. They get along by going along, never wanting to upset the apple cart. Though they view themselves as the salt of the earth, others will see them as weak and mark them for exploitation. They are often made a victim because they will not voice their opinions stand up for themselves.

Passives generally have issues with setting priorities. They are often busy putting out other people’s fires because they can never say “no”. They need encouragement. The positive words you give them may be the only confidence builders in their lives. Ask them for opinions and solutions on team matters. However, it is important to ensure they understand job requirements and how their part affects the team. If in management, set the priorities for them.

Passive-Aggressive Communication

business_man_beautiful_man_business_business_men_man_young_male_businessman-625568.jpg!dYes, there are those who manage to be both passive AND aggressive at the same time. They will stand up to others… but behind their backs. They have an “I’ll show you” mentality and will carry a grudge. They love to play the victim, yelling one minute and then crying the next if yelling doesn’t work.

Understand the game the passive-aggressive plays but do not play it yourself. To do so would only enable them. Stay focused on what is fact and relevant. Once they realize emotional outbursts do not work, they might come to their senses. When dealing with this personality, ensure everyone is in agreement and there won’t be any “misunderstandings” later. It may be prudent to write a summary in and email to them after a conversation.

In one of my workshops, we go deep into what makes a person behave in such ways. Find out more at: http://MomentumSeminars.com

The 8 Most Common Mistakes of New Managers

Recently, I was speaking to a group of business owners. It was a luncheon, and I was brought in as the guest speaker. The topic that day was on turning new managers into effective ones. It was a portion of my one day management seminar I conducted the month before. Entrepreneurs want to know how to get their management team up and running as quick as possible.

Almost as important as what to do, it to know what NOT to do. With so many people, procedures and other considerations in any organization, mistakes are sometimes made.  It is not enough for a leader to continue to develop his or her skills. The boss must also be mindful to avoid potential obstacles that could derail an otherwise positive environment.

1) Leading all members of a team in the same manner.

One size does not fit all when it comes to dealing with human beings. And if you’re in management, THAT is the job; dealing with human beings. Everyone responds different to the chief motivators of pain or pleasure. To uncover what motivates a person, a manager must first have an individual relationship with all members of the team.

2) Offensive, obnoxious, rude or abusive behavior.

Being offensive simply isn’t acceptable in the 21st century workplace. Truth is, it wasn’t acceptable in the 20th century or any other. Being loud or issuing threats will simply repel good employees. For those who are motivated by achieving pleasure and reward, this tactic provides neither.

3) Failing to show appreciation when it is deserved.

One thing that keeps good employees in place for years when perhaps the title wasn’t as glamorous or money wasn’t as good compared to somewhere else, is a sense of satisfaction. Simply Receiving a paycheck isn’t enough for someone to take pride in their work. Employees need validation from the boss.

4) An inability to gather or give information due to poor communication  skills.

If you don’t have a TEAM, you are not really a manager. You are a specialist. A siloed technician can get away with not speaking much or constructing emails in bullet points devoid of adjectives, a manger cannot. Issuing edicts like a monarch doesn’t work in the American culture. People need to know what, how and even why.

5) Not being a role model or leading by example.

It is not necessary for managers to DO everything alongside the rest of the team every day. However, it is necessary illustrate that the manager CAN. This is not only good for esprit de corps but it also allows the boss an opportunity to exhibit what the standard of work is to be.

6) Blurring the lines of management and being too friendly.

Managing friends and former co-workers is always tough. But if the position has shifted, so should the relationship. Notice, I did not say there is no relationship, it has simply transformed. Those who will call on the loyalties of “friends” in their new corporate rung will always fail. It better to establish what the new relationship is on the front end.

7) Being absent or otherwise detached from the organization.

A good boss has to be present in mind and body. Yes the mice will play, so it is imperative they physically see a manager. Though it is not just a matter of work ethic, but teams need to know they have the support of management. Support given from a distance may not be perceived as support at all. Morale, whether good or bad, stems from leadership.

8) Micro-managing; not delegating responsibilities or trusting the team.

I could go deep here, but the bottom line is: nobody likes a control freak! If the boss is hovering over the collective shoulder of the team, the team will essentially give up. Why should they try so hard if everything is to be critiqued and modified later? It also teaches employees to not engage their own ingenuity.

The relationship between employer and employee is just that, a relationship. As such, it must be cultivated by both parties. Proper interaction is a must to achieving organizational goals.

 

You Are Out of Control!

This past year, a recurring theme in the Sunday School Class of my wife and mine, has been that of “control”. At no point have any of the lessons contained the word in its title, but in analyzing the root cause for relationship issues, lack of humility, unhappiness at work, or just plain being a curmudgeon, the “C” word keeps popping up.

I’m a self-confessed ‘control freak’, just ask my wife, or the other two people in my family to which I issue commands. It’s not that I think everyone should use their turn signals each and every time they change lanes, but rather that they just need to stay home if they don’t intend to do so. That makes perfect sense to me; freedom of choice. Abide by my way of how things should be done, or stay at home! In fact, the world would be a much better place if every inhabitant subscribed to my rules of the road, believed the way I do, joined my Political Party, and enjoyed Indian cuisine. Yes, six billion clones of Blaine Little would make the world a better place… for me.

Awakening from my dream-state, I realize that will never happen. I will never have the honor of issuing an edict providing for the backs of hands to be smacked by a ruler should they not pull the little lever on the steering column. Children will never stop doing things that embarrass their Controlparents, and parents will never stop doing things that embarrass their children. Though, I do savor the opportunities to make my kids cringe.

What we are all chasing, that to which we all feel entitled, is control. Control of society, the political process, our family, our work, and even from time to time, God Himself. Oh yes, we like to espouse what God would or would not do. Well, it’s a good thing none of us are Him. Corporate CEO’s, Generals, and Doctors all look good in their respective articles of clothing, but none of them are in control. They just want you to think they have it all figured out, which is the reason for suit, uniform, and lab coat. The harsh reality is none of us are in control. We never were. I will not even go so far as to say we are only in control of ourselves… because we’re not.

Attempting to gain control is a futile exercise which ends in anguish. It’s a workshop on self defeatism. Putting our hands on those things in our environment in order to change the course in which our circumstances lie is like teaching a cat to fetch a stick. Well, have you ever tried it? All you do is wind up aggravating yourself; I have the blood pressure pills to prove it.

What we really want is; peace, love, happiness, and a certain amount of satisfaction in our work. Here’s the irony; we don’t need control for ANY of those things! We can find peace by knowing God is in control, and living the way He would truly have us to live our lives. We can start by “loving our neighbor”. Some will even love us back. We can find happiness in our family, so long as we are willing to accept all their imperfections. We can feel satisfied by taking the right attitude into work with us.

Good things will inevitably come our way, but if we hold on so tight to things in our present, we will completely miss the opportunities of the future. The sooner we stop trying to gain control, the sooner we can just start living. Perhaps they just didn’t make turn signals on that model of car.

http://MomentumSeminars.com

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