Habits: The Good, the Bad and Conflict
We all form habits and thank goodness we do. Otherwise, our brains would be hyper-exhausted! Habits help us move through our day without making a huge volume of conscious decisions about things that we have done multiple times already with good, or at least acceptable, results. Obviously, good habits are better because they guide us to do the things that are safest, healthiest and in our best interests.
Unfortunately, bad habits can create some real problems for us. I’m not talking about skipping the gym and vegging in front of the TV. I’m talking about work habits.
If your job consists of a lot of predictable tasks, you probably feel safe just using your habits and following your routine. You have every reason to think that if you do this you will always have a positive outcome. However, conflict can disrupt your comfortable routine with very little warning.
Typical habits when facing conflict
Falling back on your typical habits when facing conflict may be tempting, but it is counterproductive. Whether the conflict is change, difficult people or management issues, using habitual behavior is going to get in the way of finding creative solutions.
For a lot of people, avoiding conflict is one of their big habits. They do this both in their personal and work life. No one wants to have that conversation that we know will be uncomfortable. Our hope is always that it will “go away or “resolve itself”. Actually, usually the opposite happens. The longer it hovers and simmers, it is likely to get worse. In addition to avoidance, it is tempting to find a way to blame someone else instead of taking responsibility to help diffuse the situation and move towards a solution.
Awareness is half the battle
Be aware that you tend to fall back on habits during times of conflict or stress. Think about the last time you had to handle conflict. How did you react initially? Did you know the outcome you wanted to get? How direct were you in speaking with everyone involved? Were you able to provide understanding and empathy during the process? Did you feel satisfied with the results? What did you do to check in and follow up with everyone involved?
Asking yourself these questions when you are not in the middle of a conflict will help you plan a better strategy for the next time. You know how you always think in hindsight of what you should have done during a situation? Well now you can use your previous experiences to do just that.
Another reason we fall back on habits is that not all of us are fast on our feet! It may help you to actually script out some ways to handle the conflict you expect could happen in your workplace. Not only could it help you be more prepared when conflict happens, but it may even alert you to situations that you can change before they boil over into a problem.
Best practice when hiring
Use a professional CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) for screening your job candidates. An experienced CRA will save you time and money while staying in compliance. They will go through all the gathered information and verify that it is accurate.
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Genesis Background Screening is not a law firm and provides our blogs for informational purposes only. Blog is not a substitute for experienced legal advice. Research laws or regulations mentioned in our blogs. Ask your legal counsel any questions you have to be sure your organization is within the law and compliant with regulations.
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