How to Remove the Me in Your Conflicts
There is plenty of conflict to go around these days. The “Me” in the title of this article is not me but you. So, let’s clear that up right now. I’m the center of enough of my own conflicts without being a part of yours. The three main ‘me’ conflicts are Me – Me, Me – You, and Me – Job. Those of us who work with behavioral management are attune to these three and a good coach or mentor can spot them quickly and the good news is that there are clear methods to deal with each of them.
A Little History
Research on what makes people tick, began in ancient history around 444 B.C. with Empedocles, who was the founder of the school of medicine. This is also the beginning of the DISC language for behaviors, Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.
Me – Me Conflicts
The Me – Me conflict is one afflicting those people who can’t seem to get out of their own way. As you know, people’s behaviors are a combination of D, I, S, and C. Sometimes certain combinations of these behavioral styles clash, even within one’s own self. Here is an example of a combinations that clashes internally:
High D – High C Combination: Here’s what happens. The D style is domineering, aggressive, pays little attention to detail, and just wants to get things done. On the other hand, the C behavioral style, is more courteous, cautious, analytical, and strives for perfection. Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the conflict here. Even externally a High D behavior style and a High C behavioral style have the biggest gap in initialing trying to communicate. The same dilemmas work in reverse for the Low D – Low C behavioral combination.
Obviously, either of these behaviors, taken to the extreme, can be counterproductive. So, we each must find the balance between moving ahead, and being cautious; between obtaining enough facts to make a decision and not allow analysis paralysis to stop us in our tracks; or in determining what works and waiting for perfection.
Me – You Conflicts
When we have conflicts with others, the same principles as above can apply. What is the happy medium working with a perfectionist and someone who believes the project, product, or service is good enough to work? Another example of conflict is the High I and High C behavioral styles in two individuals. The differences here are the High I is an extrovert, trusting, and more of a “feeling” person. The High C is an introvert, less trusting, and wants hard data.
Again, just as we can manage our self-behaviors as in the Me – Me conflict, here too, two people can work together to come to some meeting of the minds. The High I can tone down enthusiasm when around the High C and the High C might attempt to show a little more enthusiasm. Even more importantly, trust is essential in any workplace and organizations must take the time to build a culture of trust. Maybe the High C can learn to trust the High I’s caring nature and the High I can take the time to ensure more accuracy. At this point, the High C and High I can begin speaking each other’s language.
Me – Job Conflict
We can reason with ourselves and with others, jobs – not so much. Jobs are demanding in that they must have the knowledge, skills, and attributes (KSAs) they require to function at an optimal level. Each of us individually, need to take the time to understand our own KSAs and the type of work to use those talents in for work enjoyment. Organizations need to establish a system to both understand the KSAs a job requires (we call this, letting the job talk) and then matching the people with the right KSAs to that job.
Conflicts will always be with us, everyone has different ideas, opinions, and beliefs and no one size fits all. However, it only takes minimal effort to remove the “me” in each of these scenarios and reduce the conflict each presents. Letting a job talk, may take a bit more effort, however, there are plenty of tools and systems that can provide the help you need to make better hires, enhance employee development, and reduce conflict.
Graphic Credit: BigStock.com Copyright: shawn_h