Is Workplace Conflict Making your Brain Batty?

Meet Batty Bratty - illustration by Christi Genet

Meet Batty Bratty - illustration by Christi Genet

Meet Batty Bratty. You always know where Batty Bratty stands. She’s a bratty teen who stomps around a lot, makes a lot of noise and has a magnetic personality that attracts a lot of bats. She’s achieved the persona of the perfect petulant teenager.

In most work environments, with a collection of people drastically varying work-styles, thought-patterns, personalities, and values, it’s not unusual for to end up in a situation where you want to act exactly like Batty Bratty. But in most workplaces, adopting this petulant teenager persona when someone does not agree on the path, will not get you there. To get that, you need to do something differently? But what?

It’s Simple. Take 3 Steps to Negotiate Agreement and Trust

Ella the Educator - illustration by Christi Genet

Ella the Educator - illustration by Christi Genet

Batty’s reaction can be to get frustrated when other people make decisions that literally make no sense. Which sadly, happens all the time. Last week, she was arguing with her band director about his approach to the flute players. He didn’t think they needed to practice, so they were not getting the practice rooms enough. Needless to say, she was not in a position of power and was not achieving her needs. Batty fumed for a while, about what the best course of action was, and realized that she could take some simple steps to change his mind and get what she wanted. All she wanted was some more practice time in the practice rooms for the flutes. Her favorite teacher, Ella the Educator told her that there were three simple steps that she could take to end up getting what was needed. Share Goals, Reach Agreement, and be honest and earn trust. She said

  1. Get Clear on the Goal

    “Sit down with the person you need to work with and talk about your respective goals and purpose in the context of the work. Take note of what the other person says. Actively listen, which means that you practice hearing their exact words and reflecting on them”

    So Batty sat down with Dippy Director and explained that she wanted the flute players to get more practice time so that he could include an awesome flute solo like Jethro Tull in Locomotive Breath. Dippy Director then said that when they played in the football stadiums, no one could hear the flutes. They could only hear the woodwinds. So the flutes didn’t need to practice because they would never be heard. Now their respective goals were clear.

  2. Reach agreement

    Ella also told Batty that she could then tell the person you are talking to that you either agree or disagree on the goals. So Batty did this. She said, “Ok Dippy, that makes sense, but have you heard Jethro Tull play flute? He plays in stadiums over loud guitars so now all we need is a microphone on the field. Dippy said, “hmm” They were not quite at agreement, but they were getting there.

  3. Be honest

    Finally, Ella said “Trust is fragile and will break in an instant - like an eggshell when you step on it”. Batty heard this too, so she closed her conversation with Dippy Director by talking to him about incorporating rock songs into his halftime shows, and adding an amplified flute. Dippy Director agreed on this, and he also agreed to give Ella’s flute players a single practice room out of the ten they had to practice on a more regular basis. Ella was honest and said, “It’s a start. I really would like more, but we will prove how well flute players can play first”. That way, she was accepting of Dippy’s offer, but honest that it was not enough. It was a start.

Ella said to Batty that there was a lot more she could learn, but it would take some practice and perspective shifting. Stay tuned on the DataPsy blog for what Batty learns next.

What About Your Next Steps?

Contact us here for an evaluation of your current situation, and recommendations for how to improve your organizations’ performance. DataPsy facilitators in conjunction with Learning Journey Inc courses offers a number of custom sessions focused on creating healthier work environments. We also offer a number of Everything DiSC products and workshops to help you navigate more quickly through work conflicts.