When in Conflict Ask This Question
In the 40 day African survival reality TV show, Naked and Afraid XL, a conflict within the “tribe” surfaced. Keeping a strong sense of team in these extreme conditions would be incredibility difficult. This team faced personality conflicts, differences in expectations of one another, rumours, miscommunication and conflict, just like any workplace. Except in Africa, starvation and predators heightened the drama.
In one episode a team member, Darrin, complained about another team member, Steven, to the group in Steven’s absence. The explanation Darrin, offered the team, was his perspective with a few slight changes in the wording. Most of the team then became frustrated with Steven who was not there to respond. One of the team members pointed out an important consideration. She said “there are two sides.” When the group met together to talk with Steven, the conflict escalated because Steven felt the conversation had been taken out of context. This happens all the time in the workplace too.
Before sharing information about someone else with your peers in the team it is important to consider this question:
Will what I am about to say HELP or HINDER the conversation and the team?
And you can always add a secondary self-reflection question: If the shoe was on the other foot, how would I feel/react/respond with this conversation happening about me in this way?
Often these questions will help you determine if there may be a more effective way to approach the situation or to frame the concerns or issues.