If you’re used to keeping your disagreement with a coworker to yourself, it may be time to start speaking up. Even if you think your complaint will cause tension, resist the urge to complain about someone behind their back, and instead voice your feelings openly and directly to the person in question. This strategy can help you resolve issues more quickly and constructively and can also strengthen team dynamics in the process. Here’s why bringing disagreements into the open can benefit your company’s culture overall. We need to discussing disagreements at work.
When something is bothering you, it’s tempting to talk about it broadly in order to let off steam. Resist that urge! It’s better to be specific and precise, especially when sharing your thoughts with others who can effect change. For example, instead of saying You always cancel on me!—say, I felt a little hurt when you canceled our coffee date last week.
When you truly understand where someone is coming from, you’re able to resolve their problem in a way that builds them up—not tears them down. So don’t respond with criticism—compassion is much more effective!
When faced with challenges or disagreements, it’s easy to shift into problem-solving mode. In your haste to fix what you perceive as a problem, though, you might forget that conflict has its benefits—it gives everyone involved an opportunity to brainstorm solutions and resolve problems in real time. Keep your focus on finding a positive solution for everyone, not just for yourself.
Taking initiative and holding your own is a big part of having a great company culture. It’s hard to disagree with someone when they are speaking out of their own passion and conviction. A team needs to be made up of people who care enough about a project or initiative to try and get it done even if they don’t have permission. When coworkers know that nothing will get done unless they do it, it gets results.
To help ensure that your employees are happy and feel supported, you’ll want to create an accountability checklist. This doesn’t mean that you should be checking up on them (although some might appreciate it). Rather, I recommend creating a simple checklist outlining all of your employee’s goals. Provide each person with one copy and have them hold themselves accountable by checking off accomplishments as they complete tasks and hitting target dates.