Bad Girl, Good Business

Kiss and Make-up

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We all have disagreements and conflicts at work and in our personal lives.

How we deal with them is what separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Yesterday, I wrote about the estrangement of Bill Murray and Harold Ramis following the making of Groundhog Day. Sadly, they didn’t reconnect until Ramis was dying.

This study from Forbes is sort of surprising. The number one source of conflict at work isn’t personality clashes, but rather lack of clarity. Ambiguity breeds dissention. Millennials are having an especially difficult time dealing with workplace conflict, according to relationship experts.

I’ve worked with all kinds of “workplace fighters” over the years. Some common types:

  1. The hurlers and door-slammers: I’ve even seen a man throw a stapler at the wall. Not good.
  2. The get-up-and-leavers: The cowardly(or lazy) leaders who simply walk out of the room, leaving the team to work out their own stuff, without any guidance. I’ve noticed it’s most common when two women are arguing and their supervisor (or observer) just gets freaked-out.
  3. The “Moes” (as in the Three Stooges): They turn against and berate whoever is having the conflict, rather than stepping in to mediate. (You can even watch an entire video of “Moe-rage” if you’re feeling particularly violent today.)
  4. The Solomons: They suggest just cutting the work baby in half, just so they don’t have to provide any direction. That can be as tough on a business as the second ilk, because the middle ground isn’t always the best ground. And who wants half a baby? (I can’t believe I’m actually quoting the Bible in my blog! But sometimes it’s a better reference than Forbes.
  5. The true leaders: A rare breed, they respond quickly and calmly, get to the source of conflict, and hang in until the team or individuals find common ground again. (See the link below.) And even Harvard believes that humor can be a good tool in achieving work peace.

So, take off those boxing gloves and click on these links instead:

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred Don’t like to read? This guide to resolving work conflicts has lots of pictures. (But you don’t have to wear a suit to follow the steps.)
BGGB_ShakingHands Fighting fair in a personal relationship.
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred Don’t do these things when fighting (at work or at home). And don’t get into fist fights. But if you do, click here. Also not for the workplace: The guy’s guide to make-up sex. (I bet this one generates a lot of click-throughs!)

Sage advice for leaders on how to resolve conflict. 



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