“Be careful. You can hurt with your words, but you can also hurt with your silence. ” This is the quote of the week from the blog of the famous author, Paulo Coelho. Words are indeed powerful. One can either bless or curse another just by uttering words. But more powerful than words is the manner in which they are said. Most conflicts arise from misunderstandings which in turn are caused by statements not properly worded or not properly spoken. A person may mean one thing with his statement while another person can interpret it differently. The workplace is a common venue for conflicts rooted in the misuse and misinterpretation of words.
Sometimes, it becomes a hostile environment especially when there are difficult co-workers stressing you out. How to deal with such an environment is pretty much the same with how it was done to at least diminish Guinea worm infestation in Nigeria: making use of the six sources of influence. Influence is power. Considering the situation in the workplace where a difficult co-worker irritates you and makes your environment unfriendly and reviewing the six sources of influence, we have the following: 1. Personal Motivation (Make the Undesirable Desirable) Where there is conflict, there isn’t peace, there isn’t harmony.
And definitely, it would also be difficult for you to work well. When your work is affected, so is your performance, so is your rating as an employee. With these in mind, you wouldn’t want to be in conflict with anyone. And to be able to avoid it, be the good influencer. Make it your motivation to make friends with the difficult people in your workplace, because a harmonious environment won’t just be beneficial to them or to your bosses, but more importantly, to you. 2. Personal Ability (Surpass Your Limits) You are capable to make things happen. In one of the Influencer Videos in VitalSmarts.
com, it is boldly stated, “Everyone has the power to change their world. ” If you think you can’t, you’re definitely wrong. You may not believe in your ability that enough, but you definitely can do something. With proper motivation, make it a habit to be gentle, speaking just the right words at the right tone, at the right time. Be patient with difficult people. You may not get to influence them at once, but so long as you make an effort to speak kind words, you will notice an improvement in their behavior as well. 3. Social Motivation (Harness Peer Pressure) In the workplace setting, social motivation is much like personal motivation.
If you can’t make it on your own, talk to your immediate superior or anyone who has authority to discuss with the whole team the essentials of a harmonious relationship. If there needs to be a teambuilding or at least a seminar on how to tame the tongue and the proper and professional way of saying words, then have one. People need to know or be reminded of how they should behave. 4. Social Ability (Find Strength in Numbers) Harmony won’t be achieved without unity. That’s the best explanation and motivation as well. Changing the world begins with changing one person.
But that doesn’t end there. It should be a chain reaction: changing one person to change another. Co-workers must help each other. It would help to have a bulletin prominently posted inside the workplace to remind each worker about the power of their words and their manner of speaking. 5. Structural Motivation (Design Rewards and Demand Accountability) At the end of each week or each month, whichever is applicable, reward the friendliest person or the group or give recognition to those who didn’t have any issue or conflict with a co-worker. 6. Structural Ability (Change the Environment)
From hostile, make the environment a friendly one. Design plans and activities for the team to be bonded. Make competitions healthy and professional. The most effective way to do this is by example. Let the change start in you. Change your ways and attitude towards your workmates and things. In doing so, you are helping them be better co-workers. These six sources are interconnected and inseparable. One can only be a good influencer if he is able to make use effectively all of the six. References Patterson, K. et. al. (2008). Influencer: The Power to Change Anything. New York: McGraw-Hill.
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