Workplace battles

SPASA Australia

By Spiros Dassakis, Chief Operating Officer
Wednesday, 29 May, 2019

Workplace battles

Workplace disagreements and tensions are inevitable. We’ve all been there.

Whilst speaking your mind is commendable and at times appropriate, it’s not advisable to pursue every difference of opinion you have with your work colleagues and try to get them to change their mind.

When we get challenged, it is natural for us to become defensive and feel as though we are being scrutinised or under attack. Whilst one party may win and the other party lose, it’s almost always a lose-lose situation.

Disagreement should never be mistaken for disrespect. Work colleagues should be allowed to disagree with you and each other.

Always trying to prove you are right can quickly turn toxic in the workplace. Anyone can manipulate data and arguments to substantiate their preferred position. It’s human nature to seek out information that supports our own beliefs. The problem with this trait is that everyone else is generally wired the same way.

Being right is often an illusion. What we think we know is what generally gets us stuck, especially when we are at battle with work colleagues who have a different opinion or way of doing a task.

Every manager and employee must learn to take a step back and evaluate the situation and ask, “Am I opposed to the difference in my colleague’s viewpoint or am I just opposed to my colleague?”

If it’s the latter, then then you need to look inward and ask yourself if you are being too rigid in your own beliefs. Try to put yourself in your colleague’s position to better understand the experiences, lifestyle and line of thinking that has led to a different viewpoint. When you take a step back and try to understand instead of being staunch in your views, it can lead to a stronger team and give you a healthier perspective on the situation.

Just because you and a colleague cannot see eye to eye on a topic, process or belief, it doesn’t give you or them the right to draw battlelines. Valuing each other’s position to be wrong and right can breed a culture of success, respect and an environment that will support each other’s personal growth.

Remember to give yourself permission to evolve your belief system by keeping an open mind to what others are saying. Your ego can be your worst enemy in battle, so tear off the mask and discover something unexpected or unknown rather than something you were looking for.

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