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One of the branch managers approached the staff member about the tardiness he showed his irritation plainly The staff member already feeling under the gun felt that the manager was being unfair and accusatory and became defensive This in turn resulted in the manager laying down the law and that was how the situation was left After the discussion the manager felt the employee was lazy and making excuses while the employee felt the boss was out to get him Surprisingly the situation got worse Even when the staff member was a few minutes late for good reason the boss jumped on him like a ton of bricks The employee angered and frustrated started taking longer coffee breaks and was away sick more frequently The situation became increasingly polarized with other people being stuck in and taking sides privately Oddly enough the initial perception of both bosses and employee became the truth After a wile the boss acted as if he was out to get the employee and the employee acted as if he was lazy and uncaring The original issue was all but forgotten as the parties developed and intense dislike of each other Whenever you are involved in a conflict situation it is important that you are aware of whether you and the other party are dealing with a substantive conflict or a personalized one It isnt always easy to tell them apart and it is difficult to look honestly at one Getting to the root cause is steps toward resolution by asking yourself questions like do you dislike the other person or frustrated with them Do you see the other person as untrustworthy and undeserving of respect And is my emotional reaction to the conflict appropriate to its seriousness or lack thereof If the answer to any of these questions is yes you may be setting yourself up for a personalized conflict that nobody can win in the long
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