Differing Opinions in the Workplace
I’ve had many opportunities to participate in broad discussions about the ever-changing landscape of the American workforce during my internship with Braathe Enterprises. Robert delved into the topic of managing conflict both in the classroom and the workplace during a recent meeting.
It’s a common misconception that most, if not all conflict is bad, especially in a workplace where there may be a lot of work to get done. In reality if there’s never any conflict in the workplace, it is often more damaging to workplace relationships. It would be extremely difficult to make any real progress in a conversation if every participant was completely in agreement all of the time. A well-known Randy Pausch quote reads; “Your critics are the ones telling you they still love you and care. Worry when you do something badly and nobody bothers to tell you.”
When you use conflict effectively in the workplace, it broadens your classmates’ or coworkers’ perspectives. Having a broader perspective improves your ability to empathize with others, which is beneficial in almost any type of workplace, particularly when dealing with customers. Obviously, conflict can still be harmful, but determining when conflict has become nothing more than a distraction to yourself or others is often not difficult.