How you choose to deal with conflicts in the workplace has a lot to do with how you internally categorize conflicts. What brings them about and your typical reactions to them can be a complex undertaking. At the end of the following articles you will have a better understanding of internal, interpersonal, intra-and inter-group conflicts as well as the differences between substantive, personality and communication based conflicts. Sounds like a lot? Well it is, but it will give you a better understanding and a start in your quest to be a better conflict resolver for your company and self.
Internal Conflict is that which rages within oneself. It involves your emotional discord for an individual when expertise, interest, goals, or value are stretched to meet certain tasks or expectations beyond the comfort level or when these items are in direct conflict with each other. Internal conflict reflects the gap between what you say you want and what you do about it. It is the cause that hampers daily life and can immobilize some people. Basically its going into the conflict with pre-determined emotions, feelings, and decisions.
This is where stress management techniques come in handy. Because this form of internal conflict manifests itself in you, possibly causing headaches, backaches, or feeling burnout. The next level is worrisome because this is where destructive nature takes over and level three is where the person has suicidal or violent thoughts.
How do you deal with internal conflict will determine whether interpersonal conflict can be effectively addressed. Conflict CANNOT be managed externally until you have it under control in yourself. So what this is saying is, the best yoga in the world is not going to help relieve the outside stress until your mind is ready too.
Here are some questions that might help you decide if Internal Conflict is an issue with you:
Are there people you avoid? Avoidance is a coping mechanism and usually signals low levels of stress and conflict. But you cannot avoid problems, at some point you must face them and using effective communication techniques, work through them.
Do you find yourself looking for some release from the day to day pressures of work? Sometimes finding a way to redirect the negative energy into something positive. One great example is running, but not just running; use this energy to train for a marathon or some charity 10K. That way when you’re concluded with the event, you have turned a negative and hostile feeling into a positive and self esteem building reward.
Do you find yourself complaining more and more frequently? Do you find yourself becoming negative about everything and not just work anymore? Its times to refocus that. Do you believe the stupid projects they have me doing today? What a waste of my time? If you find yourself feeling this way, one way to get refocused in today’s economy is look at the want ads. Go take a walk down the local unemployment office.
Do you find yourself being more short-tempered than you use to be or that you’d like to be?'
Do you find yourself coming up with “perfectly good reasons” not to change?
Don’t despair if you answered yes to most or even all of the questions above. Most people do. Internal conflict can be an alerting mechanism that shows you where energy is being drained away and where you need to focus your management skills. We will cover this in the next article.