Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and holds a master's degree in leadership.
Workplace Pressure & Conflict
Ann works as a restaurant manager in a fast-paced establishment. Her responsibilities include keeping customers happy, overseeing team members, and reporting to upper management, which frequently involve conflicts and pressure.
For example, there are times when her team members are not happy with the procedures that upper management sets. These feelings create conflicts that Ann has to manage professionally. Workplace conflict is any situation where people working together have opposing views. Some ways to stay professional when dealing with workplace conflicts include managing emotions, maintaining a positive outlook, and viewing conflicts as opportunities.
In the workplace, it's often hard to leave your emotions at the door. When people are passionate about their work, they can lose control of their emotions in situation where none are necessary. That's why it's important to keep a professional attitude at work.
For example, Ann's manager wants her to train other supervisors to handle some of her daily duties, so when she's busy or sick, they'll know how to complete her tasks just as well. Ann responds to this request by becoming upset because she feels that her job is in jeopardy. Although she complies with the request, she does not provide other supervisors with all of the information they need because she feels threatened. While her managers request reflects a smart business decision, due to Ann's emotional response, she cannot see how it will help her in the future.
Here are some tips for managing emotions in the workplace. First, don't take business actions and decisions personally. Often times, business decisions and matters are about making business operations more effective and efficient and are not meant as a personal attack on you or your capabilities. Second, make sure you understand the situation before letting your emotions take control. And, third, ask questions that can help to avoid any incorrect assumptions or miscommunications and, instead, clarify a situation. For instance, if Ann had asked her manager some questions about her decision to have Ann train the other supervisors, she would have discovered the basis for that request, which, in turn, may have alleviated many of her fears.
Maintaining a Positive Outlook
In order to present a professional attitude at work, it is important to maintain a positive outlook. No one likes to work with someone who is negative all the time. Your attitude can affect your chances of being promoted, which is why it is so important to stay positive even when you are under pressure and facing conflict. For example, when faced with deadlines or other time-sensitive responsibilities, Ann will appear more professional if she's able to remain positive. Additionally, remaining positive can make handling pressure and conflict easier. Negativity can be counter-productive when you spend more time complaining and stressing than resolving an issue.
Here are some tips for staying positive:
- Build relationships. If you enjoy and promote workplace relationships, it'll be easier for you to stay positive.
- Ask for help. Pressure in the workplace often occurs when you are overworked or feeling overwhelmed. Asking for help can reduce the stress and stay positive.
- Stay calm and don't overreact to conflict or pressure. Staying calm can also help to you to stay positive.
Viewing Conflicts as Opportunities
Conflicts and differences of opinion are unavoidable in the workplace. For example, Ann does not hold the same views as management when it comes to delegating. However, learning to deal with conflicts and differences of opinion can help you behave professionally at work, especially if you're planning on moving up. One way to deal with conflicts in a professional way is to view them as opportunities. In Ann's situation, she should embrace her new role as a trainer and see it as an opportunity to demonstrate her skills, rather than fearing the loss of her tasks.
Workplace conflict is any situation where people working together have opposing views. However, it is possible to deal with workplace conflict while acting in a professional manner and keeping your feelings in check, including managing emotions, maintaining a positive outlook, and viewing conflicts as opportunities. When managing your emotions in the workplace, avoid taking business decisions or situations personally, ask questions, and explore how they can provide you with opportunities to demonstrate leadership and promotability. Negativity can be counter-productive, so ask for help when needed, build relationships with colleagues, and stay calm, all of which can make handling pressure and conflict in the workplace a lot easier.
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