Poor communication often leads to conflict, which, unresolved can provoke various problems. Within the workplace, it is imperative to keep communication channels open with other individuals, because failing to communicate effectively creates an uncertain climate, in which communicators become averse to make attempts to resolve an issue, which causes it to amplify (O’Hair, Wiemann, Mullin, & Teven, 2015).
On my job, majority of the time I get into it with the owner’s husband. The funny thing about this situation is that my bosses are my godparents. Whenever he is having a bad day he takes it out on the staff. One day he is fine and the next day he is fussing over nothing. On my job we are not allowed to have our cellphones and they keep them locked up in the office. Well I said to him that it was not fair and that they do not pay my cellphone and that I have a son who is in school and if they need to call they will not be able to reach me. He then says to me then you need to give them your work number so they can call and talk to you hear. I tried that and when they called he told them that I could not come to the phone because I was in my class busy at the time. So when I found out that they had called I was mad because I said why would you tell me to give them my work number if I cannot call? I was really mad because this was a time where another student had hurt my son and made him bleed and they were calling to let me know. I was mad and I was yelling that it did not make sense that I could not have my phone and that this was the only place that I have worked to that took my phone away and give it to me on my lunch and when I get ready to go home. Needless to say I did not like this idea neither did my co-workers.
Another encounter I had is with one of the co-workers that I work with. She always thinks that she knows everything and that she always telling my parents what their child has done in my room. Or if a parent asks her how was their child’s day she says I do not know because I am not back there and I keep my door closed. I told her that you are to never tell a parent that you do not know what is going on with their child. I told her that she should have said that their child’s teacher was gone for the day and that they could speak with me the next day. She did not like that and she started saying out loud that she hates having her class in the front because everybody always fussing at her about something. She went on and on about I can tell the parents whatever I want to because I do not know what is going on in your room because I stay in my room with my door closed. She got so mad to the point she was going to walk out the door because she did not like when someone fussed at her. I was just trying to let her know that she could talk to parents better than what she did. We want families to trust us with their child and ensure that they are safe in our care.
In both conflicts I could have handled each situation better than what I did. In learning what I have read from the resources I could have been a little more compassionate and empathetic to the owner’s husband. They could have held a staff meeting that would allow us, the employees to voice our opinion about the cellphone situation. Had I been more compassionate or empathetic towards him I would have known that the reason why he was so uptight was that he had a lot going on at the time and he had deadlines that he had to meet and things he had to get fix before the week was out. Now that I know from the readings I will be able to handle situations a lot better.
2 Helpful Strategies
- Use the 3R’s to help defuse a conflict situation- Call a staff meeting if there is a problem between the employer and employee or employee and employee. Calling a staff meeting will allow each person to have a respectful interaction by embracing and acknowledging the situation at hand. Through reciprocal interactions each individual will be heard equally. In being responsive each person will have an opportunity to look within themselves to see how they view things and voice their opinions on how to make things better (Corso, 2007). In using this at the staff meeting, everyone will be heard and the situation can be rectified and handled before things get worse than what they already escalated to.
- Stop, Look, Listen- This is a technique that takes you “to the balcony or a mental place of calm and perspective” that is provided from The Third Side (n.d.). It allows you to see the situation from a different perspective and “keep your eyes on what is truly important” (The Third Side, n.d.). The steps are as follow:
- Take time to prepare
- Take a time out
- Count to 10
- Take a deep breath
- Remember “Everything starts by stopping”
- Look inside yourself – look at your natural reaction to take sides, ignore and escape.
- Name your emotions. Have your emotions (rather than be them)
- Hear your feelings out so you don’t have to act them out
- Listen to understand
- Use a friend or colleague as your ‘balcony’.
Corso, R. M. (2007). Practices for enhancing children’s social-emotional development and preventing challenging behavior. Gifted Child Today, 30(3), 51–56. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=http://proquest.umi.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/pqdweb?did=1303084331&sid=1&Fmt=4&clientId=70192&RQT=309&VName=PQD
O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J. (2015). Real communication (3rd. ed). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
The Third Side. (n.d.). The third side. Retrieved from http://www.thirdside.org/