As a leader, you should be more mindful of heightened emotions, distress, anxiety, irritability and an escalation in interpersonal conflicts. Instead of panicking, view this as an opportunity to prepare your employees to face difficult times.
As an employee, you may be wondering what’s up with your co-workers. What are they reading or why are they behaving so strangely. Well, they may be thinking the same thing about you. Everyone has their own rationale for what they do. Don’t expect to agree and share everything with your leaders or co-workers.
There are some things we need to do by ourselves on our own time. In this episode, I am sharing some interpersonal wellness tips to reduce those new conflict issues that may be popping up at work. Let me know if they resonate with you.
1. Respect Preferences: If you are working in a skeleton office, pay attention to your co-workers’ preferences for social distance. Be respectful and reduce making light of the situation. Remember not everyone has the same tolerance levels.
2. Be Gracious: If you are vaccinated or not, respect the feelings of those who may feel differently, don’t judge others for not making the same decision as you did. Remember there will always be early and late adopters with everything new. Not everyone thought flying in an airplane or driving an automobile was a smart idea. Late adopters will come along in their own time and if you are an early adopter then enjoy the thrill of being early, don’t look down on late adopters and those who are late. Remember everyone now thinks it is a waste of time to take a ship when a plane can get there faster. Let’s be gracious with each other.
3. Consider Others Feelings: If your co-workers are stuck with having to stay home because their children have no school, refrain from making comments that they must be enjoying working from home, as not everyone does.
4. Help Co-workers: Help those who must stay home feel a part of the team by sharing ideas, keeping them in the loop, include them in messages and share jokes.
5. Share Responsibility: Don’t grumble and complain about coming into the office when it is your turn to be onsite. This makes others feel uncomfortable, everyone has to do their part.
6. Be A Trustful Leader: If you are a digital leader, don’t be suspicious and doubting of your employees. You can still lead employees who are not in the same building as you in a relaxed way, it helps everyone feel valued. Remember to always check in with your team and ask what’s working for them and what they will need from you as things are constantly changing and what worked last month may not be working next month.
7. Be Tolerant: If you are trying to speak to co-workers and there is a lot of background noise, children talking, TV playing, be patient with them and kindly suggest that you are not able to engage fully with the background noise. It’s possible that they may have become immune to it. Just gently inquire if there was some way they could minimize background noise.
8. Respect Others Time in Meetings: If you are working from home for any reason, please ensure you find a quiet spot even if it’s the bathroom to participate in meetings. It’s important that your colleagues see you as engaged and focused on work during the times you are talking to them. Do your best to show you value their time and attention.
9. Don’t Judge: If you overhear a colleague grumble, yell or complain about their children, be gracious. It may be just the impact of cabin fever. Ask if they want to talk about it, listen and offer suggestions if they give you permission to do so. Don’t share this information with others at work this would be a breach of trust, or worst start hurtful rumours.
10. Negotiate Your Boundaries: If you notice a co-worker or colleague refusing to maintain the necessary social distance, be direct and let them know what you feel comfortable with and ask if they could respect it. Don’t push, shove, minimize each other, or name-call. Remember we are all just learning to live with this new normal. Calmly let them know what you prefer and ask how they suggest you work together that respects both your needs.
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Joyce Odidison is a Conflict Analyst, Speaker, Author, thought leader, and the world’s leading expert on Interpersonal Wellness Competency Mindset teaching and coaching. Joyce is President & CEO of Interpersonal Wellness Services Inc. for over 24. She is Founder of the Global Workplace Wellness Summit and What’s Happening at Work podcast. Joyce has authored five books and is also Founder and Coach Training Director and Founder of Coach Velocity School of Coaching, the first black-owned coaching school approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Joyce is a C-Suite level workplace wellness expert and corporate trainer, who works with organizations struggling with difficult work relationships or stressful situations to foster a culture of relational well-being to enhance performance and productivity at work. She can be reached at phone 1 877 999-9591 www.interpersonalwellness.com