“That’s it—I quit!” was what I told myself every week when I entered the labor market. Why? Not because of the job itself but because of my inability to manage workplace friction. As an EXTRA extravert like me, this really was devastating.
According to research, I’m not the only one. For example, a study done by CPP, Inc. found that 85% of employees and leaders experience conflict at work.
July is Social Wellness Month, which focuses on having positive connections with friends, family, colleagues and supervisors at work, and anyone else.
But how do you build significant relationships in the mist of potential quarrels? Although I have always confronted people who behaved in a way that was out of order, my approach has changed over the years.
Here are three tips I use to improve social wellness in the workplace.
1. Wait 24 hours
When someone rubs you the wrong way, it could be tempting to go tit for tat. The problem with reacting impulsively is that you might lose your cool and do or say something you regret. Taking time to digest the situation will allow you to reflect on the event and prepare your arguments more wisely.
2. Find the lesson
The Hawaiian philosophy of Ho’oponopono states that we can heal from all things by accepting “total responsibility” for everything that surrounds us, even conflict at work. Practicing this philosophy allowed me to realize that I was seeking so much love and validation from my colleagues that they might have felt my neediness, which repulsed them (nobody likes needy people).
Sometimes, the lesson was simply that my values and the organization’s values did not align. If that’s the case for you, it might be time for you to move on.
Again, according to Ho’oponopono and any spiritual practice (read 2 Corinthians 2:5–11, for example), forgiveness is the key to growth. So forgive the missteps of others and forgive yourself for your shortcomings. This was a game-changer for me.
By showing more and more compassion for myself and others, I became a magnet at work—to the point that I had colleagues writing me appreciation letters, and others would beg the bosses to make sure to keep me in their team.
Conflict at work is almost inevitable, but social wellness is possible. I believe my workplace journey changed for the best because I took the time to work on myself, find the lesson, and learn to forgive often.