Having trouble creating synergy at your workplace? I hate to break this to you, but it might just be YOU. Many of us don’t take the time to consider how we communicate when conflict arises. Unfortunately, most of us have been trained to speak a language that encourages us to alienate ourselves, through our communication styles. We tend to make snap judgements, rather than listening deeply to get to the root of the problem. These quick judgments lead to defensiveness, resistance, and sometimes even violent reactions. Fortunately, with just a few conscientious mindset changes, we can easily transform defensive and aggressive communication styles into much more effective behaviors.  Behaviors that actually encourage others to hear and act on our perspectives and communication styles that encourage synergy, rather than repelling it!

The following tips are pulled from Marshall B. Rosenberg’s latest edition of Nonviolent Communication. They are so great, we feel compelled to share!

The next time you need to build some synergy or resolve conflict with your co-workers, try this:

  1. Ditch your judgments and comparisons; at least become aware they are there.
  2. Focus on objectively observing the way the conflict is making you feel.
  3. Determine your need in the situation; what is it that you really want?
  4. Calmly and factually share what you are feeling, and request what you need.

Let’s say, for example, you feel like someone in your office is trying to take credit for your work. Rather than jumping right into a judgmental mode, assuming they are intentionally trying to derail you, try giving yourself a little space to observe how you feel and evaluate your needs. When you have figured out what is really happening with you, you will be in a much better mindset to approach the “perpetrator” calmly with something like:

“When I heard you went to our boss and talked about my project idea, I felt irritated because it seemed to me you were taking credit for it. It took me a long time to come up with that idea. In the future, I would appreciate it if you would include me when you are having a conversation about this project. Would you be willing to do that for me?”

By using nonviolent communication techniques, you are much  more likely to get a positive reaction from your peers and avoid the possibility of lingering resentment, or damaging conflict all together.

Intentionally setting aside the alienating communication styles that we have been taught, and adopting a nonviolent communication approach, will help you achieve the healthy working environment and synergy that benefits everyone.

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