Colleagues at small table talking

In any workplace, disagreement is inevitable, and that’s a good thing! While conflict may not always have a positive reputation, it is truly beneficial and essential for business. After all, when people share opposing points of view, it can reveal new ways of thinking, unlock possibilities and lead to better outcomes. Conflict only becomes an issue when it is handled poorly.

Often, tensions arise when employees are dismissive of others, focus solely on their own perspective or communicate in a way that grates on their colleagues. Without the tools to effectively manage and navigate discord, friction may get out of hand. That’s where Emergenetics® Associates can help!

Using the resources from Certification and on the Emergenetics+ portal, you can empower individuals to recognize how others prefer to address dissent and discover opportunities to enhance their communication practices to cope with disagreements. Try incorporating the four tactics below in staff meetings and your training programs to engage employees in short, eye-opening activities.

1) Revisit Behavioral lineups.

When they are not clearly understood, the Behavioral preferences may cause tension between staff, particularly when it comes to Assertiveness. Just think about the difference between first-third Assertiveness, which appreciates a peaceful, congenial atmosphere, and third-third Assertiveness, which tends to be direct and challenging when sharing opinions.

Expressiveness and Flexibility can also play a role when people fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. For example, a third-third Expressive individual may keep explaining and refining their statements out loud while a first-third Expressive person may feel silenced in this process, leading to frustration.

To empower coworkers to appreciate the approaches of each Behavior, revisit your lineup activities. Start with Assertiveness and split your group into their preferred first-, second- or third-third. Ask them to describe how they tend to address disagreements. Also, ask what causes them to shut down or get energized when discord arises. Then, repeat the exercise for Expressiveness and Flexibility. By shining a light on how discussion can be supported or hindered through the lens of the Behaviors, individuals learn new tactics to embrace productive dissent.

2) Complete a WEboarding activity for the Thinking preferences.

While understanding Behavioral Attributes helps people learn how to approach conflict, the Thinking Attributes can offer insights into what they may need to consider when evaluating dissenting opinions to help steer the conversation toward a constructive conclusion.

Place your participants into their Most Preferred Thinking Attribute and ask them to discuss what is important to them when they are resolving differences. For example, Analytical team members may want to make sure everyone has a clear assessment of the facts, while Social staff members will likely want to ensure that each person’s feelings have been heard.

Once your groups have brainstormed their top considerations, encourage them to plot their tips on an Emergenetics template and share it with their colleagues to discover strategies to support each Thinking Attribute.

3) Role play with mid-dyads.

It’s one thing to have the tools to manage conflict. It’s quite another thing to do it in real time. To enable staff and workshop participants to put their learnings into practice, have them engage in a role-playing scenario.

I recommend using mid-dyads for your pairs. In this setup, teammates will share at least one Thinking preference and have another that is not common. I also recommend that the pairs have at least one Behavioral preference that is different. The mid-dyad pairing allows individuals to have some common ground and get practice exploring other perspectives.

There are many ideas for potential conflict resolution scenarios online or in training programs. One simple setup asks one person to play the part of an employee who is consistently showing up late to work. The other participant needs to address the behavior in a way that speaks to the employee’s preferred Attributes. By having the opportunity to practice navigating conflict in a safe way through diverse perspectives, people can feel more equipped to do so in real life.

4) Utilize the Emergenetics+ mobile app.

In addition to these workshop activities and practice sessions, the Emergenetics+ mobile app can help staff members debate with ease. Any Profile holder can use the app, so encourage your participants to connect with their colleagues in Emergenetics+.

When they link up, individuals get customized tips to improve how they interact and communicate with one another. Using these strategies, coworkers can better prepare for potentially challenging conversations by respecting the preferred Attributes of their teammates.

You may also suggest that participants download and utilize the Attributes in Action Guide Resolving Disagreements, which is available on Emergenetics+. The template offers a process to navigate dissension and have a productive conversation, while also keeping in mind the inclinations of the Behavioral Attributes.

While conflict may not feel comfortable for every person, it does not have to be a source of anxiety. By empowering people with the tools to consider other perspectives and approach disagreements respectfully, employees can see conflict in a new light and recognize it as a conduit for surfacing distinct viewpoints that can lead to better outcomes.

Learn more about how you can use Emergenetics to help your employees or clients build important skills or fill out the form below to speak with one of our team members directly!

Print This Post Print This Post