Top 5 Relational Challenges In Your Workplace

Mar 02, 2021

Unless you work by yourself, you have relational workplace challenges because every organization does. Where two or more are gathered, challenges exist! To minimize the damage of these challenges we have to first be aware of what they are.

1. Avoiding difficult conversations

People avoid difficult conversations for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it's because we dislike the emotional turmoil it causes within us. Other times our workplace culture sends signals that these conversations aren't welcome, especially with the boss. But how can we succeed at anything if we can't identify and resolve difficulties?

2. Feeling Disconnected

It is so easy to feel disconnected. One of the tools I use in my coaching is an assessment that helps us understand how an individual tackles problems, deals with people, approaches consistency, and engages standards. There's no right or wrong way, as each style has its strengths and weaknesses. But disconnection happens because we often communicate to others as we want to be communicated to rather than acting in the way that best serves them. Of course, it could also be you were up all night with a sick kid and your grumpiness has nothing to do with the person in front of you, but your colleague doesn't know that.

3. Inability to Repair Broken Relationships

Relationships break down just like cars, houses, and golf swings. It's not if - it's when. The question is do we know how to repair and maintain our relationships before a catastrophic failure occurs?

4. Drifting to "Me" Before "We"

Taking the delicious old-fashioned sour cream donut from the breakroom and leaving the sad stale one with that weird lemon jelly? Not a selfless act! The hard truth is that sometimes our instinct is to put our own gain above others, including our own teams. But as research by the likes of Adam Grant and Brene Brown has shown, serving others is actually in our self-interest.

5. "It's Not My Problem" Thinking

Last is the classic "It's not my problem thinking." While it might not be your job responsibility, it IS always your problem. Successful organizations, teams, and families know that they need to look out for one another.

We like to think that healthy relationships just happen but, like many things in life, they take constant work and practice. In order to overcome these challenges, step one is confessing these issues exist in your organization and becoming more aware of where they show up. Step two is intentionally developing new habits to deal with these challenges. Step three is integrating these habits into the life of your organization. Of course, I am always here to help guide you in this process.

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