Building positive connections at work: Conflict is a universal challenge in both professional and personal spheres, and many of us grapple with the question of how to navigate relationships with those we find ourselves in conflict with. Whether it’s with colleagues, direct reports, or even superiors, fostering positive connections is essential for a harmonious work environment.
In this blog post, we’ll explore three effective strategies for building bridges in conflict-prone situations.
1. Find Common Ground:
One powerful way to ease tensions is by finding common ground with the person you’re in conflict with. Despite differences, there’s usually at least one shared interest that can serve as a foundation for connection. For instance, discovering a shared passion for art helped diffuse tension between a speaker and a difficult boss. This shared interest became a focal point for discussion, gradually transforming the nature of their encounters.
2. Learn About Hobbies:
Taking an interest in the hobbies or family hobbies of the person in question can be a game-changer. By delving into their personal life, you may uncover commonalities that bridge the gap. A client’s successful connection with a colleague, achieved through discussions about the colleague’s son’s soccer games, illustrates how a seemingly simple interest can pave the way for a strong, collaborative relationship.
3. Arrive Early and Work the Room:
Anticipating a conflict-ridden meeting?
Arriving early and proactively engaging with others as they enter the room can set a positive tone. Simple gestures such as shaking hands and making eye contact establish a personal connection. This strategy, though seemingly straightforward, has proven effective in diffusing tension and fostering a more amicable atmosphere during meetings.
Incorporating these strategies into your approach to conflict can yield remarkable results. Building connections based on shared interests, delving into personal aspects like hobbies, and establishing a personal presence through early interactions are key to transforming conflict into collaboration.
Remember, the power of simplicity should not be underestimated. Profound connections often stem from the most straightforward actions. So, the next time you find yourself in a conflict-prone situation, consider these strategies as your toolkit for fostering positive connections. Building bridges, one shared interest at a time, can make all the difference in creating a more harmonious and collaborative environment.
Thank you for reading, and may your journey to positive connections be both rewarding and transformative.
Maria is a local government and corporate alum with Fortune 500 experience, and academia adventures that constitute a treasure trove of colorful experiences over 20 years. With a doctorate of management in organizational leadership, Maria works with local governments to create workplaces that attract and retain the best talent. Yes, she is the author of Love-Based Leadership: The Model for Leading with Strength, Grace, and Authenticity – and no, it is not a book about Kumbaya, puppies, kittens, or rainbows. Her latest book, A Course in Leadership: 21 Spiritual Lessons on Power, Love, and Influence was released in June 2021. Maria is a classic rock and Motown junkie who hopes to learn drums from Keith Moon and Benny Benjamin in Rock-N-Roll Heaven.