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March 10, 2017 2 Translation missing: en.blogs.article.read_time

You may leave your morning asana practice feeling centered, but if you are like the overwhelming majority of Americans, the stresses of the workday quickly supersede that feeling of calm. Your mind is taxed not only by everyday responsibilities like meetings, deadlines, and quotas, but also by friction with your coworkers. Huge numbers of Americans – well over 50%, according to some studies – are embroiled in workplace conflict with other departments, groups, teams, or co-workers. The mental capacity required to deal with conflict takes away from your ability to fulfill your actual job responsibilities, resulting in frustration and decreased productivity.

When You Experience Conflict, Consider Taking These 4 Approaches

Take a Minute to Practice Mindfulness

Stop what you’re doing. Take a few cleansing breaths or use your preferred Pranayama technique. While you breathe, mentally observe your mind and body. What thoughts and emotions are predominating? Acknowledge your thoughts as valid but temporary. Name your emotions. What about your posture? Are you experiencing any physical discomfort? Adjust accordingly. Now you can proceed mindfully.

Have a Learning Conversation

Have you ever noticed that if someone cuts you off when driving, you assume that person is a bad driver. However, if you cut someone off, you chalk it up to an error. We tend to assign character flaws to others, but cut ourselves some slack in the same situations. Unfortunately, we often do the same with people we know. If we feel hurt or wronged, we assume that our coworker intended to hurt us. Workplace conflict frequently stems more from miscommunication and lack of clarity than from an irreparable issue or devastating character flaw.

With this in mind, try having a learning conversation. Establish that the purpose of the conversation is not to solve the conflict, but to clarify what each person is contributing to the conflict. In most cases, this approach will help your coworker feel that it’s safe to be honest and begin to consider possible resolutions. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Feelings

The emotions you noticed when you took a moment to recenter are still there, and now is the time to voice them. Explaining how you feel and asking the other person to do the same reduces the power of those emotions. Most people are surprised to learn that they are experiencing many of the same feelings. Almost instantly, they see each other as partners working towards a common goal rather than opponents.

Know When to Involve Others

Some conflicts, especially long-standing issues or those involving large groups with competing interests, require a third party to mediate. Talk to your manager or human resources about the issue, and explain how it is affecting your productivity. Professional mediation services can also step in for a complex problem. Above all, the worst thing you can do is nothing.Try these steps and you will find yourself on the road to a positive, healthy, and supportive work environment.

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