You spend a large percentage of your waking hours with your colleagues and employees. You get to know their strengths, weaknesses, quirks and good and bad habits, so it is inevitable that moments of tension or conflict occur from time to time within the office. Managing many different personalities and dealing with difficult people can be an exhausting job as a leader, but these meditation and reflection techniques will help you stay patient and focused.
4 Zen Conflict Resolution Tips
1. Accept that conflict is a natural part of life.
“Why can’t we all just get along?” is a nice sentiment, but in reality, people have different ways of approaching work, challenges and relationships. When these approaches are out of sync, conflict arises. It is unrealistic to try to erase disagreements completely from your workplace; instead, look for ways to solve conflicts, minimize negative results and learn from experiences.
2. Focus on the here and now.
The central goal of meditation is to slow down and be present in each moment. When dealing with difficult people, it is easy to lose sight of the present and get caught up in past grievances and future problems. Come up with a short, helpful mantra or phrase that you can use to bring you back to the present when you are struggling (for example, something as simple as, “Be present now”).
3. Create the right environment.
Meditation is most successful when you are able to find a peaceful, positive place that suits your personal needs. Work conflicts occur more frequently in chaotic offices where employees are overworked, under-rested or generally stressed out. Make a conscious effort to create a work environment that encourages engagement and personal effectiveness and shows employees that they are valued and appreciated. Learn what your employees care most about in a workplace, whether it’s work-life balance and health benefits or professional development and a good company culture, and emphasize those values.
4. Leave room for quiet time.
Conflict resolution is sometimes as simple as walking away, breathing and taking some time away from the heated situation. Go for a short walk, read a good book during your lunch hour, grab a cup of tea or do whatever helps you calm down. Return to the conflict with a clear head and an open mind.
How do you cope with conflict in the workplace? Share your tips in the comments.