I was talking to a friend and she discussed some of the issues she was had with her boss. I asked her if she told her boss her concerns. Her answer “I don’t like conflict”. People say this all the time when it comes to speaking up. I believe you are putting it out in the universe that what you are feeling will start trouble and that is not the case. Since when is expressing yourself in the same boat as conflict or being confrontational. If speaking up on concerns led to conflict is that a bad thing? All conflict in the workplace isn’t bad. Through conflict you can grow and make positive changes. Conflict doesn’t always have to be a high stress and negative situation.
1. a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.
In any work situation, you have the right to share your concerns, frustrations, and ideas to the proper parties. Expressing your thoughts is not conflict when the message is delivered appropriately. When approached correctly, tough conversations can lead to higher levels of productivity and insight. People often confuse that with being confrontational.
1. tending to deal with situations in an aggressive way; hostile or argumentative.
You can do this
“It is not fair I have to do all the work for this project and everyone else gets to sit at their desk reading buzz feed all day. You need to do something about it.”
“I am feeling some frustration with the workload and is there a way that it could be redistributed where we can keep a better level of accountability among the team.”
The first example was aggressive and whoever is on the end of that will not hear what you’re saying because they will instantly zoom in and focus on the delivery. In the second example states, how you feel with a possible solution. The second example could start a healthy conversation with possible actions that could make a better work environment for you.
There is no guarantee that the audience will be receptive to the message no matter how you deliver it however, you need to know that you must stand up for yourself and your feelings especially when someone’s behavior is negatively impacting you and your professional growth. As a young person, there is a higher chance of you being taken advantaged of in the workplace. (I spoke about here as well). We are so hungry to further our careers that we will sometimes deal with completely unprofessional behavior and are afraid to question our more experience/older colleagues. This can potentially put us in a mindset where we never feel comfortable speaking up, which doesn’t progress our careers.
You must find a healthy balance between those tough needed conversations and when the conversation isn’t worth your time. As much as we feel (as much as I want you to speak up) you should pick and choose your battles. Pick the moments, especially if you have been asked for your feedback to speak your truth in a calm professional matter. Don’t let fear of conflict keep you from advancing.
“A happy employee is a harder working employee”