How to Navigate Conflict in an Untraditional Work Setting
Dealing with conflict is an essential skill in the workplace. Many consultants or freelancers think once they jump out of the 9-5 life, they can avoid these situations. The hard truth is these situations often get muddled even further by digital communications and the lack thereof. Here are some tips for navigating conflict - online.
- STOP READING BETWEEN THE LINES
The number one cause of over-thinking is trying to decipher if the “tone” of this email is angry because of punctuation or word choice. Look at communications for what they are and trust that if your client or team has an issue, they’ll be upfront about it. This works for you as well, stop deciding you sound manic with too many exclamation points or whatever irrational thoughts the digital age has manifested in your head. Be straight forward and people will do the same.
- CREATE BOUNDARIES
If you’ve had conflict in the past, you probably are aware of how you dislike dealing with them. Say this from the get-go. In your interviews and kick-start meetings ask your team and clients how they’d like you to deal with conflict and communication issues and give them the same information about yourself. Get it in writing so you can refer back if things get sticky.
- STICK UP FOR YOURSELF
There’s a way to claim your ground while still respecting your peers. You don’t need to be walked all over by your managing partner because you’re lower on the totem pole. You deserve the same respect. Take inventory at the end of each month of how you’re being treated, spoken to, and disciplined so you can be proactive moving forward.
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