How To Deal With Conflict At Work: Via Conflict Resolution Strategies and Skills – A Podcast Resource Guide
Are you the type of person who gets consistently offended by your coworkers and boss?
You may be the victim of an unfortunate situation – but you may not.
You may be the type of person who creates havoc wherever you go …
If you create havoc wherever you go, you’re in the right place.
First, props to admit you might have an anger problem. And yes, there are some of you reading who do not have anger problems.
But … some of you reading don’t know you have anger problems and you do.
So there’s no judgment here, congrats if you have the balls to admit anger gets on your nerves.
This post is in response to anonymous survey feedback we received. At our career advancement workshops we ask people what types of topics they would like to focus on.
Last week, I got a response that said “addressing conflict”.
To help give useful information about “addressing conflict” I’ve prepared a podcast, along with a full transcription. Here’s some cool stuff you’ll learn today:
For further reading about conflict resolution, check out this excellent UCSD article. A non-affiliate link to purchase the book I gathered my information from is here. For more of our previous podcasts, check out this article here about The Different Types of Surrender.
Please leave a comment or email us (email@example.com) if you would like me to cover any topics.
What anger pattern are you?
So I got some surveys here and the data is in these surveys. We talked to people at our events and we said, what do you want to get training in? These are anonymous surveys from people who went to career advancement workshops and we asked them at the beginning of the workshop so they wouldn’t be biased or anything about our presentation. We just honestly wanted to know. And I’ve got this first survey here.
I don’t know who wrote these, but this one is about addressing conflict. And so I’ve prepared some materials and notes and what I’ll be doing is going through these surveys and giving little snapshots of people’s problems and some advice and some scientific advice on how to solve these problems from different perspectives. So today I’m taking more of the uh, therapist approach, got my master’s degree in counseling, etc.
And what I’m going to be doing is going through a series where we talked about the problems that are coming up in the surveys, but you know, not just from a therapist perspective, but from a business perspective, from a Buddhist perspective, a Jordan Peterson perspective (or other random author’s perspective) or from a biblical perspective. I’ll just pull out some books because I love research. I love learning.
So I love learning and you know, this is my way of integrating all this information and sharing it in my, the way I like to do it. So they’re going to be quick little snapshots. But this guy who wrote “Rewire” Richard O’Connor, he has a section in there that’s about anger. And I’m gonna condense that section into a little quick snapshot about addressing conflict. Basically he starts off by saying anger is this sense of unfairness. As soon as I started thinking about some stories to be able to share with you guys about anger, one came to mind immediately.
Someone at our event, woman, middle aged, Hispanic, she was about 40. And this topic of anger had come up in the workshop and I could tell it was a sore topic for her, uh, just her eyes were a little teary eyed.
We were talking during the workshop and afterwards, and she had been let go from her previous, like five jobs. She hadn’t lasted a year at any of these jobs and they were high paying jobs. She was smart, but it really hurt her because after five years of getting a job of losing it because of her temper, she was just kind of at a loss. She was like, she had, she had finally started to realize like, this is my problem. This is me. This is not normal. People don’t get fired. Five jobs in a row. Normal people aren’t told five times in a row that, you know, your anger is what’s causing you to be fired.
And I want to really just pause there a moment because before we get into any sort of anger thing, there are people out there who are angry and they are not going to take responsibility for their anger. They’re not in the right space to take responsibility for their anger, and that’s the number one problem I think people don’t control their anger is because they don’t see their anger as a problem.
So I’m really speaking to someone right now who knows they have an anger problem. You know from this perspective, this is where you have the anger problem. This person, on the survey who said, addressing conflict. So part of conflict is if you’re the one causing the conflict, if it’s a pattern, if you get in conflict a lot, you need to seriously look yourself in the face like yourself in the mirror.
If you’re getting conflict a lot is that you, that’s you. That is you, you gotta, you gotta look yourself in the mirror and really be clear at take responsibility for your anger.
Now with that being said, this, this Rewire book has a couple of different tips on how to do that. So Richard, he talks about three different types of anger. He talks about more, but I only remember a few different types. One was passive aggressive, one was being too nice, one was having to highest standards. There was another one with a bad attitude. These were different types of how, how people got stuck into angry patterns. So like in the book there was the example of like the Godfather where if you remember the Godfather, Sonny, he hears his sister’s been beaten and so Sonny flies off the handle, he loses his temper really, really quick and, it’s predictable that he’ll lose his temper.
So he, he goes out and he gets gunned down because they know he’s going to react and, and drive to the guy, to the abuser’s house. So they trap them and kill them. And you know, that was because his pattern was so predictable that his enemies could kill him.
Now Sonny is a bit extreme but we all have anger problems, like me for example, I’m more of the, probably more of the Nice Guy Passive Agress. I’m getting better at it. Like getting better at like drawing my boundaries and just saying, hey, no, that’s not cool. Things like that. But passive aggressive would be my kind of go to default track, and basically we all have these default patterns that are anger runs on. For example, maybe some people fly off the handle, maybe some other people people press their anger down, maybe others have this bad attitude where they always feel like something is wrong with their environment or that it’s always someone else’s fault.
Let me pause for a minute and talk about people who don’t take responsibility for their anger. These types of people, the bad attitude types of people are the freaking worst to, um, to deal with and because but they rarely, they not as often, from my experience, just candidly, a lot of people who have anger don’t really see it as a problem. They don’t really want to work on it. And when they wonder why people quit or leave their company, like they don’t really get feedback on that. Their anger is the problem but somehow never change basically. That’s what I’m saying.
Anyways, that’s a side tangent. I know that person I’ve talked about, they’d probably not worked on their anger one bit because they’re a bully. Really. They’re a bully and people that are angry, sometimes they’re in positions of power where they can bully other people and that just sucks. Okay. Like you have every right to be angry. If you’re in a situation where you’re being bullied, you have every right to be angry. But – that’s kind of a different topic than today. Today we’re really just focusing on if you’re the angry person.
Again and first of all, no shame if you’re an angry person. All right? Like, just admitting you’re an angry person, that’s freaking huge. Like, congrats, congrats. If you can admit you’re an angry person. Um, that takes so much courage and honesty.
And I really got to give you credit for that and I think it, you know, you got to realize too, Richard talks about in the book, he mentions a lot of times we grew up with parents who neglect us, who manipulate us, who lie to us, and these wounds, these scars, we carry them with us and we want to protect ourselves and so forth. So anger is an attempt to cover up these wounds.
And so I think when you, when you start recognizing and taking responsibility for being an angry person, if, if that is you, uh, you know, props because it’s freaking tough work. Uh, this, this stuff of admitting you have an anger problem. You blow off, you fly off the handle, you get fired. Like this woman who came to a workshop, you know, props to her for fricking I’m facing that part of her, you know, she was facing something. It was facing the truth.
And the truth was she had an anger problem. Like she had a big anger problem and she was finally taken responsibility for it and saying like, Oh shit, like I can’t be this way this is not good. I have to do something. This is me, this is me. So Richard, Rewire author, He says, start off with three things.
First one is prevention. So he talks about like, identify what your anger pattern is. Do you fly off the handle or you pass up aggressive? Are you a, are you an inner critic where you judge yourself? Do you always feel oppressed? And you know, if you can identify your anchor pattern, then it’s time to start digging into your belief system. That’s the first step. And so like it might get out a journal if you’re, if you identify your anger pattern as let’s say, I’m like, you’re oppressed, right?
Like if you have a bully at work who’s bullying you and you feel oppressed and that’s fine. I mean that’s not fine, but you have every right to be freaking pissed off. So, uh, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about if you consistently, every single work environment, you go to every single boss, every single partner, your parents, the bank society, everything. If all these things always, always say that they’re ganging up on you, that they’re making things not fair to you. That life is hard.
Guess what bro? Wake the hell up. Okay? Wake the hell up. Wake the hell up. These things are not ganging up on you. Don’t be so fricking egotistical and thinking that all these things are ganging up on you.
Okay? That’s you. That’s you. That is you. That’s you blaming everybody. That’s you.
Okay? That’s what this lady in this workshop had to face. She was blaming everyone else but not herself. That’s you. Okay? So if you’re feeling oppressed everywhere you go, that’s you. That’s not everywhere you go. That’s you. Okay? So that’s you.
Now, if that’s you, are you. You know, how can you see things differently? Is, are they really getting ganged up on you? Is the bank really making you wait longer in line? Are these rules and regulations really unfair? Are they completely unfair? Like think, do these rules and regulations, have some balance? Is your boss totally lopsided towards you or is there some balance, you know, get out your journal, write this stuff down, actually start diving in and taking responsibility for your anger pattern. If you’re an inner critic, you recognize that’s your anger pattern. Well, uh, you know, start writing out like criteria on how you should judge yourself.
If everything you do as a failure, then write out some criteria that you, that, what would qualify as success for you. Because I’ve worked with some people and once they write out their criteria for success, they, they tend to like realize, oh, I’m actually like pretty close. They are succeeding in some areas. Like for example, like fitness. I’m like, Oh, you want to lose a pound a week. And then they lose like eight pounds. So they average like a pound a week. They lose. And so I say, Oh yeah, that’s great. How do you feel about that? They’re like, ah, I don’t feel good. But I then I can kind of say to them, “Hey, you defined this as success and you succeeded.” So what’s left like now you’re just left with feeling bitter. Take responsibility for that. Like if you’re the inner critic, you got to take responsibility for your over criticizing yourself.
This is about taking responsibility. Identify your anger pattern, and take care. Responsibility. Next step number two. Um, what was that? What was. Let me get my notes here real quick. Assertiveness. So this is beyond the topic of today. Assertiveness. I’m not going to go huge in depth into it, but I am going to say, um, if you’re passive aggressive, if you’re a nice guy, if you’re meek and you are not being assertive, if you’re not getting your needs met, there are ways for you to get your needs. Get your needs met without appearing hostile. And I’ll say this as a kind of recovering nice guy. I used to think that me saying, no, I don’t want to hang out, or hey, can you actually not do that? I used to think that the way I said that was a was like, like people would get really mad at me basically.
I was afraid of their reaction, but as I learned to be more expressive and just saying, you know, I think the other day someone asked me about my mailbox if I wanted to switch my mailbox and I’m like, no, I don’t want to switch my mailbox. That was it. Like it was a little abrupt, but it was fine. The other person is fine. They didn’t care. Like if you’re a passive aggressive person and you’re learning to be assertive, just realize that you can be assertive.
You’re not yelling, you’re not shouting or not name calling. You just have a firm tone and that tone, that’s okay. Like I’m learning. That’s okay. Okay, so have a firm tone. That’s something to say about assertiveness. There’s a lot to it. I’m sure it’ll come up in a different conversation. But, um, that’s Richard’s second step for dealing with anger, first prevent and identify your anger pattern and then identify those root causes.
And then the second step being the assertive, get your needs met somehow. Third one, values. This one was a tricky one because it’s, again, it’s probably so hard for some people to admit it, but basically like if your life is a failure, if you have failed to live a good life and now you’re 20, 30 years into you’re not so good life, there are a lot of people who are bitter, like I mean bitter like, oh, like they carry a wound and some of that wound is self-inflicted because they have not lived their best life and they feel bitter. And so they’re walking around with this bitterness. And Richard recommends taking like this. This is the real hard look in the mirror is like if you’re unsatisfied with your life, with your health, with your dating, with your work, with um, with whatever, if you’re not happy with it, like what are you doing about it?
Like are you living in alignment with your values? He says, identify your values, identify you know, what, what kind of work you want to do. We want to be with who you are, what your personality, you know, what, what kind of friends do you want, what kind of things you want, and are you living in alignment with that and like yes or no, yes or no. Yes or no, and this is a, this is a hard one because when you get all those 30 years of, of momentum, of bad habits and not taking responsibility, it’s a lot of weight to overcome. But if you can admit you failed, right? That doesn’t need to be a bad thing. Okay? Like I really want to kind of close this out by saying it’s okay to admit you failed. A lot of people they add on guilt and shame and all these other feelings about admitting failure and been admitting failures too painful.
Like, um, a lot of people are just, a lot of people don’t do that. They don’t want to admit they failed because like, it’s almost like if they failed then the world would blow up. Like that’s kinda what it seems like, Oh, if I had been, I failed. Then like you, you can see when a person gets defensive, right? Like you’re calling me, you’re saying I did a bad job. It’s almost like you’re telling me I did a bad job in the and that you’re going to like murder my family. Like, no bro, I’m not going to fucking murder your family. Like, like, ah, what am I trying to say? What am I trying to express their, um, you can say no, like the person who is getting really mad right there saying, oh no, you do me like, I’m not telling you anything. Like failure is fine, but you can fail bro.
It’s fine. Like, chill, like chill. It’s okay if you failed. It’s okay if you don’t have a perfect life. Uh, I don’t wish I did. I don’t. Um, you don’t need to have a perfect life. You don’t even have this inner critic. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to admit that you failed. That’s what this step is about. Admitting the things you’re not living in alignment with. Um, so I hope you enjoyed this. I’m going to be doing this little series I’ve, I’ve had fun right now. And um, uh, what’s it called? Oh yeah. So on the website there’s a contact form at the bottom. If you want to write something you can message me just on whatever channel you were watching the sun. You can just send me a message. I’ll talk about anything that you want to talk about. I, I’m, I’m enjoying this right now. I’m going to be doing different, um, different like a different sources like this was a kind of a therapist perspective and I’ll be doing different perspectives on different issues, but these are real people issues. Like I’ll show you the anonymous surveys and um, yeah, just looking forward to doing this little kind of research and data accumulation for you. Uh, share this if you found it useful, visit prostarperformance.com. Subscribe to the newsletter. And yeah, that’s it for now. So peace.