May 20, 2024 Vas Nair

Healing Workplace Friction

Why does poor communication happen in the first place? Sometimes it’s as simple as misunderstandings or differences in communication styles. Other times, it’s the result of conflicting schedules or priorities, and maybe fear of confrontation. 

Things can become emotional when relationships are strained. Practicing emotional intelligence (EI) is key here. EI refers to one’s ability to recognize, manage, and handle emotions. Emotions directly impact our behavior, so take a pause and be aware of your emotions and how you’re reacting to others. Listen to understand what others are sharing with you. 

Don’t blame or make assumptions. For example, someone could be reacting for reasons unknown to you. So, gather information by asking questions. Finally, reflect on what you’ve learned and speak with a trusted advisor or coach. This also allows you to think more clearly about how you’re going to diffuse any conflict and work towards improving your working relationships.

We sometimes jump ahead and try to solve an issue before listening to understand the whole picture. This can lead to poor decision making. Many of us underestimate the power of listening! We often think we need to have all the answers. 

Take notes if necessary and ask how best to slide in your questions to check for understanding. Once the speaker has shared their information or story, acknowledge what you’ve heard by summarizing the conversation. This is one of the best ways to show that you’ve been listening. It emphasizes that you’ve been paying attention to the speaker; which makes them feel appreciated. Where possible, minimize distractions by turning off your phone or going to a meeting room. This allows you to fully focus.

Be mindful of your professional relationships. Take time to touch base; set reminders in your calendar to drop by their workstation or send an email/text to remote workers. Simply ask how they’re doing since you last spoke. Find out how your recent communication or interaction helped. Would they suggest anything different? Thank them for their input. Finally, ask how you can help further. Allocate quiet time at the end of each week to reflect on what you heard. 

I hope you found this helpful! At Giraffe, we focus on tackling conflict at work and fostering healthy work environments. With the tools and resources inside the app, you can help elevate the connections within your team. Request a demo here to find out how Giraffe can help drive success at your organization. You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook.

Giraffe HR App - Creators Vas Nair and Sobha Nair

Hi there!

We’re Vas and Sobha Nair, two sisters that have lived and breathed all aspects of human resources for over 50 years between us. Giraffe was born from our global experience coaching leaders and business owners navigate the same tricky workplace issues and discussions that you face. We know the best practices and proven processes that help turn workplace conflict on its head – and we want to share all of this and more with you in Giraffe.

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