Finding your inner-warrior ~ facing conflict in the workplace

Many of us are unprepared for managing conflict. It can hurt us personally and diminish our effectiveness at work. It takes courage to handle difficult scenarios.

But it’s not simply about having the courage to speak up or face opposition. Even more challenging is the confrontation it brings with our own selves; we have to confront our own weaknesses as we do so.

This is the true art of the warrior: know know yourself as well as you know the enemy and to have internal strength, not just external power.

Last year, Karen* came to see me because she was suffering anxiety attacks. She was exhausted from dealing with the treatment she was receiving from her new manager at work. This manager’s brief was to cull as many positions as possible, while keeping the organisation running. The manger treated people rudely and coerced them into working long hours under the threat of retrenchment.

I worked with Karen through the Soul Coaching® as she developed the courage to insist on being treated decently. She managed to find a dignity and self-respect, even in the face of outright bullying, as well as earn the respect and admiration of her co-workers. They watched her grow in spiritual stature as she dealt with this manager who, despite having organisational clout, seemed rather small and tawdry in comparison.

Regardless of how well we manage ourselves, other people can still become aggressive or even abusive towards us at times. After an angry encounter of any kind of conflict, it’s important to have some sort of debriefing so we can let go of any debilitating energy we may be holding on to.

Often in an angry encounter, it’s not appropriate to say what we really feel. This might be because we’re talking to a superior or because we’re so angry it would actually be abusive to speak it. Nevertheless, the energy is there and it needs a safe outlet. Depending on what suits you, try the following options to clear the anger from your system. You may need more than one go if it was a particularly difficult encounter:

  1. Write an uncensored letter to the person (that you don’t send!). It takes the form of, “What I really wanted to say to you was … ” Be as rude and offensive as you want. Really go for it. Write until it’s all out. Keep the letter and re-read it a few times until its sting is gone, then destroy it. Burning it can be particularly satisfying.
  2. Get the energy of the anger out be some physical exertion. I know people who go for mammoth jogs, others who use a punching bag and some who hit mattresses and cusions. Make sure it feels physically satisfying. This is not about violence; it’s about the safe expression of strong emotion. It has to have an outlet. It’s best to do it in a way that’s safe for yourself and others.
  3. Use your voice to shout or scream your frustration. This can be a challenge in an urban environment where walls are close together and not particularly soundproof, so try doing it in your car on the freeway. There, no one can hear you scream!

If you’re feeling disheartened, remember we all go through times when our goals seem too difficult or overwhelming. This is when we need to take a break.

Refresh yourself … pace yourself. Inspire yourself by remembering mentors or role models who have gone before. Then go back to the bigger picture. Remind ourself why you’re doing it in the first place.

It takes courage to stay strong. It takes commitment, endurance and robustness to stay working for a difficult cause. yet your own self benefits as you develop such capacities within. You can enjoy cultivating the dignity of your warrior self.

Finally you need perspective. You will lose many battles, but there are lots of battles and lots of fronts to work on. The Eastern teaching of the Tao is relevant here. The Tao  is like water. Water is strong enough to wear away rocks but doesn’t do it by aggressive encounter. It goes under, around and over. Wearing down resistance, making new paths, it gets to the ocean in the end.


* names have been changed
Michelle Chant sees clients from her healing studio in Canberra, Australia or works with clients via Skype

About Michelle

A Soul Coach and healer, Michelle is a sought-after speaker and consultant.

She is passionate about her Soul Coaching® practice where she helps burnt-out executives who have lost themselves to rediscover their passion for their lives.

Michelle serves as a mentor for Denise Linn's current on-line professional training courses, "Gateway Dreaming," and "Soul Coaching® Oracle Card Certification" program with Hay House.

Michelle was a contributing author in the award-winning spiritual anthology, Soul Whispers II (Soul Wings Press, Sydney), which was published in October 2010.

With a rich and varied background in the healing arts, marketing, public speaking and writing, Michelle is also a Chakradance™ practitioner (a dynamic, moving meditation to balance and harmonise the chakras.

Michelle runs a successful private practice using these tools to help people "rediscover the sacredness of their lives."


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