A little misunderstanding or misinterpretations can damage long term bonding and internal trust in organizations. Such complexities at workplace can impact on team spirit and productive outcomes. One of the workplace problem that leaders face is effectively communicating and coordinating with employees. It could happen because of backgrounds, experiences, expectations and perceptions. Employees can interpret messages from leaders and managers differently where the context could be changed, leading to confusion and conflict.
In our communications sessions like “Language at different Hierarchy” or intervention programmes like “Blame game Vs. Accountability” we listen to leaders and employees concerns on how employees and managers can take off the blind spots and have clearer conversations with each other. We are aware that as individuals we often jump into snap judgments based on own perceptions, assumption and in some cases high or undefined expectations, change in what is been said, creating serious misunderstandings that can lead to lower the sense of confidence to work as team and in understanding the usefulness and purpose of gaming in the project. Because of the future difficulty in accomplishing day-to-day tasks to achieve the larger organizational mission.
Opinions begin to form really fast in our heads: “Why so arrogant?” “Why’s he so uptight?” “That guy can’t string two coherent words together.” And then we say, maybe there was a misunderstanding between them. There is no more important issue in business, or in life, than having no growth, all lost and waste of time matters, because it is the reason that underlies all others. And the good news is, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to fix it.
Of course, it may not be practically feasible to neutralize the instinct to quickly judge, and in some cases misinterpret, the intent and meaning of conversations, there are steps that can be taken to refine and upgrade these interactions.
So, here are 2 simple tips to resolve and restart:
KEEP THINGS TRANSPARENT:
When any difference arises, action should be taken quickly to resolve it openly. TRUST is built based on honesty. The root of issues, communication gaps and behavior interpretations – All of this should be addressed with all parties as soon as possible. And all the parties must maintain honesty and transparency throughout the discussions. While clearing the air if you find things are not presented correctly, then ask questions. Many times people fear being misunderstood, dismissed or labeled. If that is happening, it’s critical to confront that fear as well, get it out in the open and then clarify matters by giving assurance and by addressing the insecurities.
Even though you may not necessarily change the entire episode of what has already happened, it is important to listen and understand the perspectives and concerns of other person. Like HR manager Ms.Tehrani of a manufacturing company said in behavioral training programmes, getting to the source of a problem involves honest conversations and a little detective interventions. And in some cases, you in fact may want to change the course based on their feedback.
KEEP RESPECT INTACT
Be aware of how you position yourself and others. You may be the boss or head, but how you deal with associates determined your colleagues relationships that will ensure high spirit environment, motivated workforce and satisfied work culture. Remember, nobody would like be put down. Everyone is engaged in an organization to contribute their expertise. It is the matter of competencies and expertise to build revenues and organization to make its place in the market. So, that should be the focal point to concentrate on. Remember, great minds discuss ideas. And confident people would always make others look taller than what they are.
Difference in viewpoints, general behaviors, level of self-esteem and work styles practices or lack of work styles, can cause a lot of arguments and misunderstandings among colleagues. If highly engaging, demanding or otherwise self-rules, blaming personalities are the root cause of team’s problems, work on being more aware of the differences in how you analyse individuals and engage them with each other in various work situations. It could be about, how a meeting was held, how a strategy was discussed or how stakeholders were engaged, realizing that other people can interpret the same event in different ways based on what they focused on, is important to remember in order to resolve conflicts when they arise. Understanding individuals preferences and communication styles would also help get others view points easily.
REBUILD RELATIONSHIP POST CONFLICT AND CRITICISM
Act Mature – switching off or turning off completely displays weakness and isn’t solution. So, stop stonewalling. Also know that sometimes the best of friendship are formed from serious misunderstandings. After long years you look back and laugh out on silly misunderstandings.
At least you try – Realize that making an Effort to fix/ rebuild is worthwhile than breaking off completely.
Recognize your own faults, culpability and be sensible and responsible – be aware of individual preferences.
Both the parties must press restart button to start afresh – one sided effort is useless.
Each one of us perceives and experiences the world differently using our own, values, individual choices and work cultures. We interpret what we hear or see in our own way and sometimes wearing color glasses and we give it meaning, and draw conclusions based on our understanding and experiences. Recognizing that differences exist makes it easier to begin having discussions that help resolve workplace differences.
When you start fresh, change the dynamics – be more open and unified.
Dr Vahini Reddy is a Mentor on Leadership and on Organization Rebuilding Strategies. She is also Founder and Director of Evolve Excellence Pvt. Ltd www.evolveexcellence.com & Chairperson to VR Oneness Foundation www.vronenessfoundation.com