Being mindful of what colleagues are thinking and feeling can help resolve conflict in the workplace
Nearly every day, most of us interact with others who have different opinions, ideas and needs from our own, particularly in the workplace.
Communication is rarely clear enough to let us understand what others mean, feel or want, but it is needed if work is to run smoothly. Telling someone you do not like how they are behaving, or disagreeing with them can become almost impossible if you lack good communication.
Interactions can be more easily managed with mindful listening. Too often we don’t listen to people as well as we should - or could.
When was the last time you fully gave your attention to listening? To really understand what a person was feeling?
By giving someone your full attention, communication will become easier, strong relationships will be formed and past problems will dissipate, to a degree at least.
When receiving criticism, for most of us, the reaction is instantaneous; deny everything, blame someone else, counter attack or storm off. Your response to criticism is subjective, depending on who you’re being criticised by and what for, but, regardless of the situation, there is a mindful and effective way to handle it.
Criticism gives you an opportunity to practise reflective listening and when responding take a moment to think about how you feel. Regardless of whether you fully or partially support or refute it, give evidence, not excuses, for your point of view.
Next time you feel that communication is strained, consider how to be more mindful of others rather than leaving the unease to fester.
● This article is adapted from Mindfulness: Be Mindful. Live in the Moment by Gill Hasson (Capstone, £10.99).
Gill Hasson is a teacher who believes it is possible to achieve what you want in life.
She works at Sussex University, teaching community, career and personal development. Her company, Making Sense, delivers workshops. See www.makingsenseof.com.