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Is Self-Worth a Cure for Office Drama?

Is Self-Worth a Cure for Office Drama?

This article originally appeared in CLO Magazine. Click here to read the entire article. 

Workplace conflict is an undeniably frequent occurrence, but where it crosses with self-esteem may be a surprise.

Conflicts are frequent in a diverse, global business environment, and they affect the bottom line. But learning how to deal with work arguments could be a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.”

Self-worth and self-esteem influence trust and collaboration at work. The concept centers on individual employees, but there are steps learning leaders can take to create a trusting, collaborative work environment.

Ralph Kilmann, who co-authored the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), which assesses conflict-handling behavior, spoke with Chief Learning Officer about the relationship between conflict and self-worth. He offered five self-concepts learning leaders can offer to help enable their employees make valuable contributions.

What are the five concepts of self?

Kilmann: These five fundamental concepts ultimately affect all your decisions, actions, whether you can trust other people, whether you can get engaged on the job and your capacity for learning, creating and growing.

  1. Self-identity. That’s who I am.
  2. Self-competency. How effective I am at being who I am. Am I authentic, or do I wear a mask and go through the life in the organization pretending to be someone I’m not?
  3. Self-value. Have I contributed what others need or want? Is my organization benefiting from my decisions and action?
  4. Self-worth. Am I a good or bad person? Do I deserve to be happy? Those questions fundamentally answer whether you can trust other people, work with other people, are free to create and contribute and get engaged on the job.
  5. Self-responsibility. Who controls what I do, who I am, whether I’m happy or sad?

Can self-worth be learned?

Kilmann: If people are unconscious, these decisions have been made by family of origin, cultural expectation, conditioning and corporate culture. People have not been free to examine themselves so they can really figure out how to engage in the workplace and other aspects of their life.

This is where training programs come in, where we actually allow people and create settings to discuss these topics and ask questions. As people discover more about themselves, they get closer to their colleagues, the trust level goes up, and they become freer to contribute all their skills and talent.

But if these questions remain determined by external forces — whether it’s the family of origin, the corporate culture or broader society — you’re not making use of the mind, brain and spirit capabilities of your human resources. You’re using basically what people are on autopilot. You’re not engaging them in the workplace.

How does having employees with high self-worth affect workplace conflict?…

Click here to read the rest of the article. 

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