People do not always get along, so dealing with conflict is part of any job. And as often as not, work disagreements get resolved as much as in informal discussions in the hallway, as they do in the conference room. So, in this two-part series on resolving conflict, we’ll be studying useful language for discussing and resolving disagreements.
We will be focusing not on major conflicts between companies or inside organizations, but rather on the everyday sort of disagreements that all of us have to deal with to be successful in our work.
In the listening, Elegant is a company that designs and manufactures bathroom fixtures – sinks, toilets, and so on. Ben has recently joined Elegant as a training specialist. When he started, he was promised that Elegant would hire someone to help him with his work-load, but instead he is still doing almost everything by himself. He was also promised the opportunity to do some course design, but instead his manager, Gerry, insists on closely supervising all of Ben’s work. Ben feels like he is working harder than anyone else in the office: He is always the last one to leave the department in the evening. But he doesn’t feel that his hard work is getting recognized.
As you listen, pay attention to the language that Gerry and Ben use to deal with this disagreement.
1. Gerry says he wants to “sit down informally and thrash things out a little.”
2. What do you think this means? A strain is something that is tiring and, perhaps, irritating.
3. What does Gerry say is “getting to be kind of a strain?” What solution does Gerry propose?