Conflict Mistakes

What do I do when I’ve “blown it?”

One of the questions I receive most often from my newsletter subscribers is what do I do when I’ve “blown it?”

As one good friend said: I forgot all the great ways I know to address a conflict. I reprimanded an employee by basically attacking her character. I did apologize, and, thankfully, she is not quitting. But things feel awkward, and I’m wondering if there’s something I can do to help the situation besides apologize.

Apologize

First, this person did just the right thing—she apologized, and she didn’t wait too long to do it. It’s important to remember that we all react occasionally in ways that we think better of later.

Once you apologize, give it time. Continue to center, breathe, smile, and treat the employee with respect.

In addition, hold the vision that with time your relationship will be back on the right track. Visualize how you want the relationship to look as you continue to work together, and begin acting on that vision in your daily communication.

Think of a physical wound

It takes time to heal. While it’s healing, you treat the wound gently, keep it clean, maybe smooth some cream on it to help the healing process.

It’s the same with healing a relationship

Keep your communication clean, gentle, and yet honest and direct. Say hello, how’s it going? Treat her as you would under normal circumstances, yet with the awareness of what did occur.  You don’t pretend the conflict never happened, but you don’t have to abase yourself either.

It’s only not up to us

Finally, remember that it’s not only up to you. You have a part in this, and so does she, you cannot do her part for her, you can only do yours. If you give the employee room, she will find her way back to the strong connection that once existed.

 

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