KO without a KO Punch

Employees are very likely to experience even minimal levels of internal conflict when working in an ideal environment.  This is so because work does not constitute the main reason for living for an employee. So that even when the workplace environment is friendly and conducive to optimal productivity, an employer may still be burdened by non work-related baggage.

You can just imagine how workplace conflict can complicate a situation in which an employee is struggling to focus on productivity. One such conflict is gossip of the overt type that seems to treat an employee as though they were invisible.

At the core of human nature, we are gregarious creatures. We like to belong. We like to know that we are part of the group.  We do not like to be made to feel like the outsider. We need to be accepted. Anything that excludes us from the group or makes us feel targeted and insecure within the group is a sure-fire certified conflict trigger. When the “assault” is similar to that shown in the photo above, a physical confrontation may never take place. This can be good in the short run, but bad in the long run, as the chances for a resolution are almost non-existent.  On the other hand, when there is dialogue between the opposing factions, there is at least the possibility of a resolution and consequent reconciliation.

In the short-run, all employees need to be sensitized to this tendency in human nature to emotionally sabotage those on the fringes of its contrived groups. This kind of behavior must not only be ostracized but outlawed by company policy. Constructive alternatives are to be presented. Options for inclusivity must be paraded over options for exclusivity. Voluntary interaction must be ranked over vicious interdiction.

In the long run, workplace conflict is always reduced through constructive dialogue and the use of unclogged channels of communication. A greater appreciation of each other’s strengths and weaknesses defuses the landmines that cater for conflict.

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