Widespread strife darkly sweeps through our business corridors all of the time. Some of them may be of the petty variety, and other ones are life-size company busters. No matter what the form, it costs you and your company.
Employees in the United States companies spend approximately 2.8 hours each week involved in conflict. These lost hours amount to around $359 billion in hours paid that are filled with—and focused on—conflict instead of on positive production. A CPP study shows nearly 10 percent reported that workplace conflict led to project failure. Additionally, the same CPP study reveals, 25 percent of employees said that avoiding conflict led to sickness or absence from work. Nearly one-third said that conflict resulted in someone leaving the company, either through firing or quitting. These surveys point out a whole bunch of people—exactly like you—directing their energy into the strife instead of toward restoration. Retaliation causes the waves of strife to grow, whereas kindness and other honorable emotions allow new energy to sweep in cleaning up the mess. You can’t create a workable cultureor a potentiality attitude when you allow circumstances to determine your actions.I’m sure you’ve personally experienced the storms of strife when employees and their organizations aren’t dealing with the aftereffects of issues as they occur.Pausing to reflect a moment and then respond with respect is the solution. Choosing such a course is foundational to being the architect of your career no matter what is occurring around you. Lead: It takes little effort to participate in spiraling down in complaining exchanges focused on all that’s wrong with leadership or the company or new initiatives while ignoring all the high-quality activities occurring. Such a focus is guaranteed to lead to more strife, not less. Falling into alignment with negativity isn’t leading, nor does it develop a healthy work culture. Envision: How you counteract strife and disappointment determines who you become five years from now. One decision, one response at a time, builds character and possibility. Giving in to your anger or hurt in a way contrary to advancing relationships not only harms your today but your future as well. Restoration: Re-establishing a robust environment rarely emerges from a black or white perspective. Instead, it’s an open mind ready to see all sides of the conflict prepared to initiate authentic dialogue.It requires maturity as well as emotional intelligence on your part. Separation: You’re the only one who can choose to detach from the negativity stir-ups even when it is coming from your boss and co-workers. A heated fray seldom generates clarity or receiver-centric or breakthrough thinking discussions. Concept disputes need to focus not on individuals, preferably on co-imagining, and innovation. It opens everyone to expansion, and that’s a good thing!Stop living from a just-now mentality. Employees who hold this attitude don’t understand circumstances change and morph into something else entirely, often turning into the right answer to your career goals. When you choose to play the long game instead of the short one, you win on all fronts. Take the high road. Your career will be far more fulfilling. Your stress levels lower. You’ll have more friends and rewarding business relationships because everyone will want to spend time with you. What would leadership look like in this situation? What would self-confidence act like in-this-moment? What do I want to create for my future? What attitude do I need to bring to the forefront to be the person of integrity I desire to be?Related: Kindness Is No Wimpy Emotion: It Has Muscle