Internal Conflict

Personality-based assessements have given us insights into the unique characteristics of ourselves and our coworkers. When applied, they can help shape organizational cultures that are effective and respectful. Yet, some conflicts seem to be inherent in human interaction. 

The mimetic theory posits that much of human interaction is imitation. In other words, we mimic each other in our desires. Human beings have an innate desire to compete with each other and gain status.

If an entry-level employee imitates the perceived habits, words, and ideas of the company CEO, they won’t run the risk of becoming a mimetic rival because of the distance between the two.

In contrast, a person with a specialized skillset can welcome and enjoy a newly-hired assistant’s imitation of their unique tasks and knowledge, but if the assistant’s duplicate skills start to rival or surpass theirs, friction and toxic work environments can develop.

When we feel like someone is too close to replacing our unique contributions, we may try to prevent them from attaining that power. This often shows up in a lack of teamwork and backstabbing.

Accepting that we are not the equals of people that we see and admire, does not diminish our value.

Source: HR Florida Review

Patterns of Culture

No one wants to work in a toxic culture or with dysfunctional coworkers. But ask them why it happens, and very few can name the root cause. There are four overarching patterns of workplace culture.

1. Conflict-Avoidant Culture: Need approval. Underlying fear is rejection. Excessive need to be nice and to take care of everyone, even when they don’t perform. What’s missing is courage (integrity, confidence, and boldness).

2. Autocratic-Dominant Culture: Need power. Underlying fear is vulnerability. Excessive need to be forceful under the guise of protecting the vulnerable. What’s missing is humanity (trust, likability, and empathy).

3. Elite-Bureaucratic Culture: Need status above others. Underlying fear is inferiority. Excessive need for a hierarchy to overcome feelings of inadequacy. What’s missing is resilience (openness, creativity, and inspiration).

4. Chaotic-Narcissistic Culture: Need freedom and attention that arises from rebellion to authority figures. Underlying fear is being trapped in sadness/boredom that comes from previously feeling neglected. Excessive need for the freedom to pursue lofty ideas and delusions. What’s missing is wisdom (perspective, diligence, and focus).

Source: Training Industry Magazine

The Scale Is Not Always Balanced In Relationships

It is rare to find a relationship that is equally balanced at all times.

Since people have different needs when it comes to giving and receiving, communication is vital in gaining an understanding of those needs.

There are times when we give a lot and receive little or nothing in return, and there are times we receive more than what we are putting into the relationship.

As long as reciprocity outweighs sacrifice, the relationship maintains a balance.

Many conflicts in relationships have something to do with power and control.

We all desire to have some control over our lives and the direction it will go, but this often lingers over to us trying to control others.

Respect comes from mutual regard and appreciation for one another, not by forced obedience.

Know How to Pick Your Battles

Life involves a series of challenges and choices. It only makes sense to choose your battles wisely.

We often get hung up disputing insignificant things when there are more important matters that beg for our attention.

No matter how well-meaning you are in fighting the battles you think are of paramount importance, sometimes the battle is won when you back up and let situations run its course.

By doing so, you will be far more effective in getting your point across.

Fighting battles for the mere challenge is a waste of time and energy.

If the world came to an end today, would those battles have the same significance?

If the battle is not beneficial in some way, and the stakes are high pending the outcome, avoid the conflict altogether.

Life rarely goes the exact way we may have in mind, and there will always be people who disagree with you or do things differently.

Reevaluate your priorities and understand that there will be battles not worth arguing over, battles you can’t do anything about, and battles that are frankly none of your business.