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kidsatoddsThere are two types of office conflict: communication and emotion. We have all experienced breakdowns in communication whether it is because all pertinent information was not provided, or information is misinterpreted. We have all also experienced those moments when emotions drive decisions and effect relationships, processes, professionalism, and reputation. While no two situations are the same, conflict cannot be denied or painted over. Like a weed, avoiding the conflict will seed more conflict, etc, until you are overrun. Here are a few tips for dealing with conflict in your office culture.

1.) Define Appropriate Behavior.

We all deal with conflict in our own ways as a result of our individual socialization and emotional processing. Feelings are valid and expressing them is a legitimate exercise in emotional and social health. That being said, there is a time, place, and manner and acting outside of certain norms can be a breach in professional/social contracts. For instance, let’s say John and Greg disagree on the best approach for their mutual client. When meeting with their client, they disagree and even argue heatedly. Not only does this put the client in an expectedly uncomfortable social situation, but it also stirs doubt in their mind as to what actually is best for them. The display of discord is very unprofessional, and damaging for the company as a whole.

How can this be solved to avoid the conference room demonstration?

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In 2009 1,500 Realtors attended a 36-hour conference with an industry leader whose specialty was “Business by Referral.”  This man was a superlative presenter, supported by both state-of-the-art technology and a well-honed team. 

About 3:30 on the second afternoon he was taking final questions and wrapping up – and, perhaps, mentally heading out to the airport and his California home. 

Then a person stood up, and said, “Brian, I’ve used your system for many years and you know how highly I think of it.  But I’m really struggling.  It’s a tough year, and nothing seems to have traction any more.  I need you to tell me: What’s the One Thing?  What’s the absolute basic tool to which you always return and which always works?”

His sincerity and earnestness gathered everyone’s concerned attention – and curiosity.  What would Brian say?  And you could see Brian mentally getting back out of the Uber, pulling himself back into the room, and maybe thinking, “Geez, what else can I do?  I’ve poured it all out here these two days, with workbooks and videos and pep songs and breakout sessions….”

But he squared his shoulders, thought for a moment, took a steadying breath, and said,

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Want It

In the final year of my rugby playing career, my team’s head coach was sacked after the second week of a twenty-week season. While an 0-2 start was inauspicious, it was not the death of our postseason aspirations – especially given those losses were at the hands of the two best opponents in the competition.

 

Why did the organization’s executives can the coach in the infancy of our campaign?

 

SportsCenter presenters love to use the phrase: “The coach has lost the locker room.”  It usually describes an irreparable breakdown in the trust players have in their coach. This coach destroyed our confidence in him.

 

He accomplished this with a catchphrase. Any time the team faced adversity – in preseason, in practices, in games – his message was, “Boys, you just got to want it more.”

 

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Broken RailLet’s face it: our communication patterns have changed since the first quarter of 2020. Particularly in the business-to-business sector, the pandemic – and its accompanying restrictions – has disrupted many of the ways we have been accustomed to building relationships. Here at the L M Thomas Group, we had to rebuild significant parts of our sales process starting in March 2020. 


What disruptions have you seen? What have been your solutions?

Let's look at 10 pandemic disruptions to communication and 5 approaches to resolve those disruptions.


Let’s look at some of the disruptions we have seen:

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Masked Elbow-bumpIn a year defined by hardships and uncertainty, constructive working communication is as important as ever. It can be the backbone in fostering and maintaining morale, keeping production at a necessary pace, and preserving a positive workplace culture. With so much to do and worry about, “checking in” with staff may not be high on the list of a leader’s priorities right now, but it is imperative to keeping the ship afloat. At LM Thomas Group, we regularly help organizations conceive and sustain the practice of communication for the good of the entire company. Given the current climate, we have put together a quick list of easy tips to keep your workplace communicating, collaborating, and achieving.

“We and Us.”

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