communication is key to happy employees and customers. Many things
drive our work communication:
issues-did you have a fight with a significant person prior to work?
Is your level of
Did you get enough
comfortable in your work environment (are you liked, do you feel
safe, do you feel competent in your job, etc. ?)
Not everyone knows how
to communicate effectively or they may be focused on other things.
Sometimes people will take things out on coworkers instead of
dealing with the real source of frustration.
are the most common errors in thinking that add to a communication
problems at work:
Over Generalized statements are exaggerations. For example, 'He NEVER
considers my opinion. You ALWAYS
interrupt me. She ALWAYS
tells me what to do. I have to do ALL
work. I NEVER
get a break. EVERYBODY
picks on me.' Watch your language for 'never, always, should,
everybody, 'I can't stand it and I can't take it anymore.'
an assumption and running with it:
What you assume is only what you assume. Assumptions may or may not
be true. There may be other reasons why things happen. Generate
multiple reasons why you think something has happened. We tend to go
with worst case scenario. Check out your assumption with others to
get to the facts of the issue. Ask someone you trust, “this is what
I am feeling…Am I on target or have I made assumptions.” Jumping
to conclusions is another form of making an assumption and acting on
it as if it were true.
is projecting your assumption on future events based on what happened
in the past. Fortune telling is assuming that what happened in the
past will happen in the future. When you say, 'I bet that this will
happen,' then you are predicting the future. You may or you may not
on the other person's behavior in the past not the present:
Some people live so much in the hurts of the past that they do not
realize that another person has changed or is trying to change. They
keep an old version of the person in their mind. Sometimes people do
change, so do an update in your mind about them.
'Don't tell me anything 'I know best for me' kind of thinking.' Stubborn insistence on one's own thinking.
with right and wrong and perceived injustice:
Blaming others is a way of life for some people. If you hear yourself
continually saying, 'It's not fair!' then you are focusing on the
negative instead of going into problem solving. Much of life really
isn't fair! So what? Keeping score of slights from others and
dwelling on them creates a climate of hurt and suspicion. (Hey, life
frequently is unfair, but focusing on it only makes you more
is a habit that is hard to break into. People who harbor grudges have
deeper issues of mistrust. Grudge holding is a learned behavior that
is prevalent in some families. Grudges fan the fire of anger as a way
of trying to feel safe by feeling powerful in fantasy. Grudge holding
appears to be a way to attempt to control negative situations by
retaining the angry feelings. Grudges are a habit of feeling
self-righteous and distance one's self instead of dealing with the
one's own contribution to the problem at hand:
Some people belittle the problem saying it is not important. They
deny personal understanding and remorse regarding their actions. This
way of thinking avoids personal responsibility thus limiting
Always putting the blame on others:
For some people, the first reaction to a problem is to find someone
to blame. Blaming is a defense mechanism to avoid taking personal
responsibility for the situation. The blamer rapidly finds fault in
the other person and criticizes them. Trying to find a solution to
the problem is much better than looking for someone to blame. Blaming
is a pattern in some families that keeps people from becoming closer.
People who blame others or situations without taking responsibility
for their contribution to the problem never get the sense of
satisfaction of growth. By refusing to see their own errors, they
lose the opportunity to change the very aspects of themselves that
keep them stuck.
techniques for handling conflict:
We neutralize to take the “sting” out of words; paraphrase what
we hear: For example, if someone says: "I can’t stand
the people at my work." An example of a neutralized statement:
"So, you want to talk about improving your relationship with
2. Active listening:
Involves responses that help to establish trust and give people
the feeling that they’ve been heard and understood. It may include
head slightly and simply waiting
looking at the
a casual remark
like "I see," or "uh-huh" or "I see what
the speaker's own body posture
smiling and showing your interest.
3. “I” messages:
Take responsibility for your own feelings, informs listener how
you feel and the reason why. Suggest solutions. Using the word,
"You", places blame, judges, and assumes. When you blame
someone else for your feelings they feel attacked and they go into
the attack mode.
of an "I" message:
consistently interrupt, I feel frustrated."
opposed to a "You" message:
consistently interrupt, You make me frustrated."
When you make non-critical observations about
a person's behavior it indicates that you have been paying close
attention and trying to understand. Feedback may help to bring
feelings into the open and direct attention to problems.
seem hurt when you talk of it."
"I've noticed you look
at your watch several times. I'm wondering if you're concerned about
seemed pleased with the offer. I'm not sure how you felt about it."
To resolve conflict be
more responsive and less judgmental. People are likely to respond to
a judgmental person by becoming less spontaneous and more defensive.
Avoid words such as "right," "wrong," "good,"
"bad," or their equivalents. Don't make moralistic
statements ("ought" and "should").