When we do not get what we want or fail to reach a goal, we often blame others. It is easy. It removes our own responsibility, and it feels better than looking at our own actions. Sometimes it really isn’t our fault, but more often than anyone would like to admit, it is.
5 Common Work Conflict Scenarios
With that in mind, I have compiled a list of things we often hear (or say) in the workplace or our personal life, that stem from misunderstanding how information travels and how communication works. These points are especially relevant for recruiters and HR professionals because the nature of the work is very social, with many work relationships inside and outside the organization:
- “We agreed on something, but the other person did something completely different!” How many times were you certain you covered the ground with a client, a customer, a colleague, or even a friend, only to be eventually disappointed that the outcome isn’t quite what you had in mind? You are talking and collaborating, It is only natural to assume: “of course we are on the same page!” The harsh reality is that both of you THINK that is the case, but very often you will take something different from the conversation. When you keep that in mind it is easier to avoid that thing from happening to begin with, or fix it without hurting someone else.
- “I’m pulling all the weight and doing all the hard work here.” You are not always aware of other people’s efforts. We have all the information about our hard work, but much less than that about others’. Yet we are very quick to make assumptions regarding other people’s work ethics. This is true for both our personal and professional life. Creating and maintaining meaningful relationships means accepting this small fact of life.
- “It’s hard to get my job done when other teams hide information.” Don’t assume information is withheld from you on purpose. The other team may have thought the information to be irrelevant or passed on the information to one of your teammates. In many instances, lack of communication between teams stems from too little team cohesion. Before blaming other teams for being excluded, check with your teammates if they received the information. DNA-7 is currently conducting a study surrounding work conflict.
- “They should have known it’s the wrong thing to do. Everyone knows it.” Not everyone has the knowledge you do. When you see someone doing something wrong or about to make a bad decision, usually the best course of action is to see if they are aware of the regulation or the existing knowledge on the subject. The “hammer to the head” solution is swift and makes the point, but you have to keep in mind most people will lose the respect and trust they have in you if you act like that.
- “Decisions are flying over my head, even though they are mine to make.” In the words of Frank Underwood: You are entitled to nothing. Your job description might land you responsibility over certain processes. That does not mean others are happy with it. If you don’t play nice with other people, share the information you have, and help further the project, your colleagues will try to bypass you to avoid the potholes you create. If this happens, blaming others will only make things worse. Find a way to get yourself once again involved. Create your own entitlement and don’t rely on titles.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but among the most common blames when it comes to work conflicts we place on others instead of looking at ourselves. Solving these issues is easy, but in some situations, requires letting go of our ego and admit the faults might be of our own making, or in a lot of cases – not anyone’s fault at all. If we can do that, navigating the sea of information and knowledge our organizations or social structures have to offer – instantly becomes much easier.