Have you ever seen a particular meeting, event, or assignment on your schedule and started thinking of ways that you can get out of it? This happened to me recently while organizing my week and I found myself dreading a certain upcoming activity. When I look back on it, there wasn’t even a specific reason related to the other person involved causing my negative attitude. It was just a general response based on similar past events. When it came time for the event, I put on my game face and chose to have a positive attitude. After it was done, I remember thinking that I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.
Often the negative attitudes we develop can be the result of workplace conflict. Whether the conflict was with a coworker or a person served, those past experiences impact our attitudes about interacting with that person or situation in the future. Often, we then escalate the situation by the attitude we take toward the person in our future interactions with them which leads us down the road toward more conflict and less healthy relationships.
In The Mandt System, one of the foundational tools for conflict resolution in the workplace is self-management. The conflict resolution techniques we teach in the program start with managing yourself first. When we affirm our feelings and choose to interact with people in more positive ways, we tend to have better outcomes in our interactions with others. While this is certainly not always easy to do, it is often worth the effort in the results that we see and the ongoing improvements in relationships between everyone in an organization.
Doug ZehrVogt, Mandt System Faculty