Leadership strategies for resolving emotional conflict (1)
We often go into discussion, assuming everyone is on the same page with us. Yet, the truth is that often; people are at polar points of the spectrum when they discuss. Also, we don’t even have a clear goal of what we want to discuss.
Eikenberry states, “it is impossible to build mutually clear expectations with others if you haven’t defined your expectations.” This unclear and undefined purpose can also be a part of the breakdown in conversation. So, if you want to resolve conflicts, you need to start the discussions by clarifying your expectations, so the other party knows your intention. Doing this also helps you to stay on course instead of rambling on and on. Making your expectations clear sets the tone and provides structure to the conversation.
To make your expectations clear, you need to understand why. Because when you can peel back the curtains and discover why you do what you do. You can then provide others at work with the context and behind-the-scenes information that justifies and showcases your expectations.
You can get people to understand why and see the bigger picture behind your reasoning. The more likely you are to get people to support you and reduce conflicts that sometimes arise when people have no clue why they are being asked to do certain things at work.
Another big part of making your expectations clear involves listening to what the other person sees from their perspective and considering their views and opinions. Often the feedback they bring adds an extra dimension that you either need to be made aware of or might not have thought of in your role. Getting feedback offers you the chance to get even more clarity on the situation.
Many have never learned the art of paying attention to unspoken communication. We place so much importance and prominence on what is said. Yet, so much more is being communicated in unspoken cues. Sometimes we listen, but we ignore the implicit signal in unspoken lines; therefore, we fall into the mistaken belief many people have when communicating with others. We focus too much on what is being said and miss out on telling clues that signify those things are not okay.
We place so much importance and prominence on what is said. Yet, so much more is being communicated in unspoken cues
Leaders often concentrate on the message they are trying to convey to the people they communicate within a dialogue or conversation. While that is important, paying attention to how the message is conveyed and how people receive it is essential.
Learning to read emotional cues comes into play here. Because you can notice how people respond to your words, you can decipher whether your message is being received as intended. However, you must know how to reconfigure your messaging and thoughts. That ability only comes naturally to some of us but is gained through constant practice.
We can’t talk about emotional intelligence without discussing the barriers we encounter as humans regarding our emotions.
Brandi Gratis states, “Emotional barriers to communication are usually due to a lack of emotional awareness or control.” Another word for emotional awareness/control is emotional intelligence.
Regarding emotional barriers, there are three classic signs.
Anger: An intense feeling of displeasure is unleashed when provoked, usually by words or actions during an argument. The problem with anger is that it’s hard to control when rampant, and it then gets in the way of honest and meaningful conversations. When people react angrily, logic often flies away in the opposite direction. The absence of reasoning makes it even harder for others to engage in constructive dialogue with the person filled with anger.
Also, the person filled with rage cannot fully process the information they are receiving from the other parties involved in the conflict. Therefore, they are less likely to listen and understand where the other person is coming from. This is because they firmly believe they have the right to express their feelings in the current situation.
Pride: This can be described as overindulgence in one’s ego and self-image at the expense of others. The problem with pride is that the person full of pride focuses solely on their perspective, which puts a damper on any constructive dialogue.
Read also: Maturing into a leadership role (4)
When one is full of themselves, they tend not to listen to what others are saying. After all, they erroneously believe that they are always right. So, they try to control the conversation and work hard to have the last word. This can be off-putting to the person on the other side of the exchange because they can tell they are not being heard.
Anxiety: As humans, we all get anxious when faced with stressful situations. But some people suffer from more complex forms of stress. These problematic anxieties can have them behaving in an odd manner or fashion when they find themselves in stressful situations like conflicts at work.
Those who suffer from social anxiety are prone to freezing when they find themselves in social gatherings. So, they often work hard to avoid uncertain circumstances. This means they might not speak up when they need to. That means during a conflict, those suffering from anxiety disorders drawback and never share ideas that could help solve or resolve an issue.
Do look out for a continuation of this article.