Harmony is something great. In the Job like in privacy. We don't want to argue! Why, however, it would be wiser to voice disagreements.

Proper conflict behavior for a better work climate: too much harmony brakes!

A beautiful illusion

The other day I involuntarily witnessed a conversation in a restaurant: An elderly couple was sitting at the table with other older couples and I picked up the following snippets of sentences: "We have been married for 42 years and have never argued." At first glance a romantic and beautiful idea. What if you think about it more closely?

Do we really believe that it is possible to lead a life without conflict? Then also about 42 years? Certainly not. In every respect, professionally or privately, conflicts always arise. Frequently, however, these are not carried out. We do not want to argue!


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I experience similar things in teams on a regular basis. At best, there is a pleasant, friendly and appreciative atmosphere. Harmony stop. Often, however, this harmony has long since been tipped into predisposition or resignation.

What seems calm and harmonious at first glance turns out to be “getting out of the way”, as an inner resignation and rolled Eyes. For a long time now, people have only talked about what is absolutely necessary, and even a psychological layperson becomes fast clearthat you can cut the air here.

Conflicts are part of reality

It's in the nature of things that if People work together, there will always be differences of opinion. The more important the topic is, the more these differences of opinion become emotionally charged.

It's also clear: if something is really close to my heart, then I won't listen and weigh it up in a relaxed manner, if I Opinions am that someone else is harming this cause or maybe even endangering it. I will try to defend my cause and fight for it.

One day, it's right

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But there are also many smaller areas of conflict. The ones you don't campaign for with waving flags, the ones that are maybe not that important to you. And yet they are there. But do you really have to discuss everything or even argue? No, of course not. On the other hand, it's these everyday little conflicts that we swallow that slowly poison our lives.

We keep eating things inside of us. Unfortunately with a tendency to larger portions. Because that's also clear: if I've never said something, I can't suddenly start with it. And so the conflicts and Problems, which are swept under the table, or which are dead silent, bigger and bigger. Until one day it crashes, but then really. This cracking can then manifest itself as a termination, a fit of rage, or a divorce.

According to a Gallup study, 20% of employees are Employees emotionally unrelated to hers Company connected - through their inner termination. Normally, this is the result of unresolved and repressed conflicts.

Just pronounce things

Actually, as always, it would be easy: If there is something to say or clarify, one should simply address things. Actually.

But in real life there is Anxiety, to get too close to the other, to hurt him or her, to cross borders, maybe then not to be liked anymore. Whatever keeps us from speaking, whatever is fermenting in us - seeking harmony or even just the fear of conflicts - one of these barriers makes our communicative life difficult.

Ways out of the harmony trap

But how do you get out of this harmony trap? It's actually quite simple: The first step, as is so often the case, is to “make people aware”. Make yourself aware of your feelings and maybe this lump in your throat. Be aware of what you are afraid of or what inhibits you.

In the second step, you can ask yourself whether you really want it that way or whether you should change something. For example, it would be one Idea simply address what bothers you or what you wish for. If you're worried now that the situation could really escalate, I recommend two simple techniques.

  1. Just shut up and let the other talk: No, I do not mean you should swallow your conflicts. On the contrary. Speak what is to be spoken. But also give your opposing team the opportunity to speak. It can be through out that he or she is actually hit and barks. And? Let your opponent talk out. You do not have to react to everything that is said, especially on provocations or attacks. Let him or her talk. But listen! Try to understand and ask if necessary.
  2. Send me messages: I messages are wrongly discredited. They are one of the most effective means of having constructive conversations and preventing conflicts from escalating. How does it go most of the time? At the latest when the first little emoticons are in play, the sentences begin with "you". “Because of you”, “because of you”, “you would have” and so on. The allegations are already flying back and forth. Perhaps you don't even mean all of this as a reproach, but it is sure to be so.

These you messages are not only counterproductive, they are also pointless. Why do you say something about yourself to your counterpart? If he did something, then he knows best himself! It is much better to say something about yourself. The best way to do this is to simply start the sentences with "I". "I wish", "bothered me", "arrives at me". So send me messages.

More possibilities

Granted, I-messages are almost certainly not what they are in one Konflikt want to say. But they are particularly effective because they are exactly what you should be saying.

Do you remember the older couple from the beginning of this text? Was our first reaction to 42 years without conflict right? I personally believe that if we never crash together, if it never fails, then we are not even near our possibilities!

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