Sunday, September 05, 2021

Conflict and Relationship

(Cartoon sketched by Atharva Vinod Bidwaik for the book "Vitality in Human Resource") 

In most of the relationships, either in personal or professional life, conflicts occur because of lack of proper understanding, communication, and respect. Somebody rightly said, “Without communication, there is no relationship. Without respect, there is no love. Without trust, there’s no reason to continue.”

Over time, behaviours are changed and that escalates conflicts which may damage the relationship. Those behaviours become the normal part of communication between partners, friends or among colleagues. Generally speaking, conflicts occur because of four behaviours in any relationship. Those are as under:

Behaviour 1:


Problem: Wise people said, “Don’t blame the person, blame the behaviour of the person.” We missed this. Blaming is pointing and if you blame somebody, it makes him/her defensive. While criticizing, the focus is on perceived personal shortcomings instead of changeable behaviours. For example: “You again made a mistake, you are dumb.”

Solution: “Communicate unto the other person that you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.” quotes Aaron Goldman

The best solution is to deal with problems in a calm and gentle way. The focus should be on the problem, not the person. The person in question should also take it positively. Feedback is always a gift which helps the development, however when you take the feedback personally, conflicts occur. For example: “I am disappointed by your mistake, can you take corrective actions and ensure that such mistakes don’t happen.”

Behaviour 2:

Being Defensive:

Problem: When the feedback is given, the person takes it personally and becomes defensive. S/he doesn’t take ownership of his/her behaviour and starts blaming others and circumstances. There are a lot of excuses to justify the mistake. For Example: “This is not my fault. I sent the mail and I have not received any response from him.”

Solution: Own up to your behaviour without blaming others or circumstances. Feedback is like a gift. As said by Ken Blanchard “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” If you want to be the champion and take control of your life, always seek feedback and demonstrate the right behaviour. Say, “I have sent the mail, I have not received the response yet, I should have just picked up the phone and called him.”

Behaviour 3:

Showing disrespect:

Problem: People love themselves. They need to maintain their self-image. Showing anger, disgust, or hostility towards the next person, creates conflicts. Making them scared, threatening them about the negative consequences, being sarcastic and showing the power, hurt the people. Some people are experts at throwing tantrums. This is toxic in any relationship and also in organizational culture.    

Solution: Make people comfortable and help them to realise their behaviour. Explain to them two sides of the issue, negative and positive consequences. Appreciating the right time, showing respect and creating trust (ART) build a strong relationship.    

Behaviour 4:

Stopping to communicate or stonewalling:

Problem: The person withdraws emotionally, shutting down, or going silent during important discussions. S/he stops communicating and listening. Based on the situation, the person avoids having difficult conversations and goes in the capsule. However, because of this behaviour nobody is able to solve the problem or issues.   

Solution: Self reflection is the key. Understand your blind spots and try to improve on the same. The key is not being passive, aggressive or playing the card of victim but being assertive and understanding the actions and meaning of those actions. Be positive and try to speak about the problem and not the person.

The key in a healthy relationship is listening and understanding the next person. There is always a story behind any conflicts and relationship, it is upto you how you make that story interesting and with a happy ending. 

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. Income from books is used for social cause. 


Unknown said...

Perfectly captured

Unknown said...

You always write on matters utmost important to any professional. Management means understanding and collaborating. To collaborate; listening and communicating becomes important subsets, rather keys for success. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Brilliant piece

Preet Phuskele said...

Behaviour issues are difficult to deal with without self realisation.. please write someone on self realisation too

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