Ignore or Medicate?

I attended a presentation last week about opioids and their impact on our society.  This event was enlightening and sobering.  Pain is something we all deal with and the types of pain we endure are varied and the toughest thing is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to understand the amount of pain another is going through.  Likewise, if you are enduring the pain, it is hard to convey to others just how much the pain bothers you.  All of this is dependent upon your willingness and tolerance to withstand a given type of pain.

I see similar issues in the workplace when it comes to dealing with issues such as conflict or workplace behavior issues.  I participated in a #nextchat with some of my colleagues at SHRM yesterday and this concept of civility in the workplace spawned the idea of how often we ignore or “medicate” issues in the workplace.

Every leader has a different preferred method of dealing with conflict.  I often use the TKI as an assessment to aide leaders in diagnosing their preferred method to confront, manage or ignore conflict.  In some cases, we “medicate” conflict by assigning excuses for why people do what they do.  Some of this medication is legitimate while in other cases this is just one more coping mechanism used by those who want to avoid dealing with conflict.

Consider your next issues with conflict or behavior issues in the workplace.  As a leader, the pain you experience is tempered by your own personal tolerance for issues, but the conflict may affect others around you in a much different way.  Keep in touch with those you work with and work for to ensure that you understand how your tolerance for pain and conflict calibrates with each of theirs.  What is painful to one may be tolerable to another.  Communication and feedback is the best way to keep everyone’s pain tolerance somewhat calibrated.

We often work with work groups on just this issue of conflict and workplace behavior.  Let us know how we might help your workplace manage and confront these types of issues.