The Three Rules Of Collaborative Workplaces

Conflicts in personal and professional relationships occur when a person is not getting what he or she wants. In the workplace, a collaborative approach is required in creating win-win situations for both parties.

An assertive mode of handling conflict, collaboration requires paying attention to the needs of the other person while clearly stating your own.

Here are three rules that define a collaborative workplace:

Focus on “we” not “me.”

Focus On WE Not ME

People who tend to start their statements with “I,” rather than “we” or “us” tend to focus on their own needs. A collaborative mindset requires a “we” mentality. We need to take the focus from what we want and start inquiring about the needs of others.

When people feel insecure or diminished, they tend to use “I” more often in their arguments. When someone disagrees with them, they instantly go on the defensive and adopt a hostile attitude. Using more “we” or “us” statements show that you are considerate about the feelings of others around you. It helps to cut through conflict and start generating ideas for resolving the disagreement.

An outward focus is essential in creating a workplace that fosters collaboration.

Engage In Dialogues Not Debates

An essential skill in situations of conflict is the skill of dialogue.

Dialogue opens the door to collaboration.

When we avoid debating and instead engage in dialogue it leads us to keep an open mind, ask careful questions, and focus on listening to the answers.

True dialogue is a collaborative process.

When two people are engage in a dialogue, they are working hard toward creating shared understanding. They value each others’ positions and respect each others’ viewpoint. The focus here is to truly listen and be willing to change an opinion based on what the other person has to share. It shows a willingness to admit that you can be wrong.

A debate, on the other hand, is a discussion that aims to persuade others to agree with your view. The goal of a debate is to prove the other side wrong and to search for the weaknesses in their argument.

Encouraging dialogue allows everyone a chance to be heard, understood and to re evaluate their own opinions. It fosters an atmosphere of learning and growth. Dialogue leads to better understanding of different perspectives, feelings, and thoughts.

Pay Attention To The Intention

Listen to the intention behind the words and emotions.

Often, what we end up saying in an argument is not reflective of our true thoughts and emotions. In a worked-up state, we tend to rationally state our position and instead rant about unrelated topics.

A collaborative mindset is focused on the goal. What are you trying to achieve? What is important to the other person? And how can you both walk away from the table with the winning feeling?

When disagreements occur, pay attention to the intention behind people’s arguments. What are they really upset about?

When you uncover the intention behind the conflict, you are a big step closer to resolving it.

Sheevaun Moran is a business advisor, master coach, quantum energy thought leader and the founder of Energetic Solutions. She uses business principles with energetic techniques to help more than 25,000 entrepreneurs, CEOs and leaders bring instant focus and shifts to clarity, purpose, and profits.


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