Break the Chain of Conflict

Emerging workplace etiquette and maintaining a safe working environment…

People adopt different tactics to deal with emotional interactions and responding to emails emotionally can have long lasting effect on working relationships.

Favouring Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools.

Receiving an email with emotionally charged language or aggravated tone can really impact your day and can have flow on impacts to others around you. Not forgetting the direct relationship impact between the sender and receiver.

It pays to give some thought to the intent for passing on these feelings electronically and causing a chain reaction or domino effect.

The development of a safe working environment starts with building trust and the best way to build trust is transparency through telling the truth. Safe workplaces are foundational to building high performance.

Photo by Anna Shvets on

Ask yourself:

Are you typing an emotive email because you have been the recipient of poorly delivered feedback yourself?

Are about to continue the same reactive or emotional way because of how it made you feel?

If someone has suffered a slip-up, don’t stress, use this approach to respond!

STOP! You have yourself an opportunity to change the future! Why pass the vibe on to the next person or retaliate by responding. Give some time for reflection. Take a few deep breaths and regroup.

LINK! Try to uncover the motivation or the connection between the sender and the emotional content. Read between the lines, let your existing relationship with them and your knowledge of them help to discover the issue or the why?! Think of the person not of the problem.

INTENTION! Assume positive intent,  reflect on positive interactions you have had with the person and allow yourself to rise above this unusual event with grace. Consider your next steps carefully. Will you be part of the domino effect? Or will you have the courage to be different?

PERSPECTIVE! Keep it short, leave titles at the door, focus on well-being. Take some time to respond and select just one item to keep the interaction simple. Type your response but don’t send it. Get yourself a glass of water and come back, review it again before sending. This breather might provide just enough time for a fresh perspective.

Be the change you want to see!

You don’t even need a poor interaction or conflict to start making a difference to others around you. Start today, think about the value you can provide by improving your interactions and deepening relationships through being hyper-considerate. 

  • Pick up that task that doesn’t belong to you
  • State you have capacity to help during stand-up
  • Pair work with someone you have not paired with before
  • Ask a teammate if they are ok if the look a bit off
  • Choose a retrospective action and take the lead
  • Contribute to someone else’s development where you can
  • Donate your time to a benefit others
  • Use appropriate salutations in electronic communication
  • Be pleasant and buck ugly trends

Start with something small, start with something easy, start with just 1 thing, but whatever you choose…just get started!

Published by Jason

Jason is an agile coach and trainer with 16 years experience applying agile principles and practices in a variety of industries and initiative types. Skilled in agile transformation and coaching, he is a professional motivated towards relentless improvement, inspiring agility and thought leadership to evolve leadership and teams to think differently and achieve great outcomes.

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