By Rebecca Zucker
Partner, Next Step Partners
Reengaging in a tense situation can be scary.
What if he doesn’t listen? What if she makes you even angrier? But even a tough conversation is better than letting a situation fester.
Damaged relationships abound in the workplace. That doesn’t mean that the status quo is acceptable. Whether you are dealing with a one-time incident or a situation of ongoing strain, part of being successful is knowing how to effectively repair broken relationships.
The quality of our work relationships determines how effective we are, how successful we are, and how happy we are.
Before you think about engaging the other person, take an honest look at yourself.
Reengaging in a tense situation can be scary. What if he doesn’t listen? What if she makes you even angrier? But even a tough conversation is better than letting a situation fester. You can’t control the other person, but you can control how you set up the conversation to allow for a productive dialog.
“I was surprised to learn about the meeting you had this week that involved my project, and to be honest, I was upset that I wasn’t included. I don’t know why I didn’t know about it. What happened?”
“I believe you meant well and wanted to be respectful of my time, but it made me pretty angry when I found out about the meeting after it happened.”
Repairing a relationship takes courage and commitment. If you can show the way and model constructive behavior, everyone will benefit. People tolerate damaged relationships, but only because they don’t know they have the power to improve them.