downward spiralNiche Consulting offers a service to assist in improving working relationships and reducing communication problems between people. 

It may be that the 2 individuals have significant tension in their working relationship which is affecting them both and which needs to be resolved. 

Personality clashes do happen at work and if left unresolved then they can impact on the morale and productivity of the whole team.

Breakdowns in communication and relationships are common in the workplace however they need to be addressed or else they can spiral out of control and have a negative impact on one or both parties and the business. 

Most often downward spirals can be addressed through understanding of the others' perspective and challenging the individuals to assume positive rather than negative motives from the other party.

Underlying these conflicts are some common themes:

  • Generally no one party is at fault, both parties contribute to the health of the relationship and how well it works. 
  • Often as humans, we get into patterns of behaviour with the other person which reinforce our perceptions of them and their perceptions of us. 
  • Downward spirals can otherwise happen and the difficulties then spiral out of control.
  • Often it is only through challenging our thinking and accepting that we have in some way contributed to the situation, we can then move forward and find some common ground.

Niche Consulting recommends the following processPersonality clashes can harm relationships steps to address interpersonal conflicts.  The process is designed to assist each individual first to understand themselves better first and work on themselves, then to help them move forward in improving the strained relationship.

1. Diagnostic – Assessment of Individuals

  • The process involves an upfront diagnostic assessment of the individuals involved to objectively measure their strengths, weaknesses and areas for development. 
  • This step is important as self awareness and acceptance of preferences, and potential problem areas, is critical prior to any development or coaching. 
  • The diagnosis through objective assessment can help the psychologist uncover the potential causes of certain behaviours and any traits that may be contributing to the breakdown of the relationship.

2. Feedback to the Individuals

  • Once the assessments are complete, each individual is given feedback on their results individually one-on-one with the psychologist. 
  • The information is objectively presented so they can clearly see where they sit compared to others on their preferences.

3. Feedback to Client or Sponsor Each party needs to take responsibility for their part of the conflict or clash

  • The sponsor of the programme will be debriefed on the assessment outcomes for the individuals and how the feedback sessions went. 
  • The proposed coaching programmes and interventions suggested will be presented and agreed upon.

4. Coaching of Individuals

  • Assuming the individual’s have agreed to be coached on the areas, then the individual one-on-one coaching sessions can begin.  Generally 2-4 sessions may be needed prior to the next stage - facilitation. 

5. Facilitation(s) between Individuals

  • Once the coaching sessions have been completed, the next stage is to facilitate meetings with the 2 individuals and the psychologist together to enable the tabling of any remaining issues or outstanding frustrations and address these, prior to moving forward to rebuild the relationship. 
  • By the end of the facilitation session(s) the goal is to enable the individuals to let go of the history and past, and to find a positive way to go forward from there.

Click here to download a pdf of this personality conflict page

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