Do People Issues Ever Really Get Resolved?

Why a positive company culture is so important

Do People Issues Ever Really Get Resolved? This blog topic is on the serious side. This discussion is good for someone who is encountering people issues somewhere on their team(s).

After many years of working with people on teams that sometimes have needs for conflict resolution, I still ask myself “Do people issues ever really get resolved?”

It’s an important question because people issues are by far the most disturbing and distracting problem in a company’s culture. And, though people are talking about it, the way they do it as best they can is still ineffective to solving the problem or resolving the issue. It’s disappointing and a time and energy drain too.

Most times, people and individuals just ‘bury’ it. Burying it in denial may seem like the best option at the time because who has time for it? Who even wants to address it? No really anyone, unless it affects them personally.

But burying the people issue does some critical damage and one important thing….it buries more than the negative energy – such as anger or disdain- it buries the positive energy – such as passion– too. When the anchor of anger goes to the bottom of the lake, it takes down passion as well.

A negative anchor takes down other important things unique to an individual too–things like enthusiasm, joy, satisfaction, hope, gratitude. These are all energizing factors and much of the stuff behind ‘being engaged’. The additional burden in on the limits it makes on the amount of creative thinking and spontaneous positive effort that can be harnessed.

Research shows that way over 50% of employees are disengaged at their workplace. Most leaders and managers just are wondering ‘why’? Most times it is not related to compensation or work hours or long commutes to the office. Often disengagement is linked to a deeper seated ‘people’ issue that goes unresolved and lays in latent denial.

Symptoms that point to people issues that can be changed and improved:

  1. Individuals do not respect their manager for several reasons: They balk at their manager’s style, communication, observations, corrections, and maybe even question their boss’s intelligence.
  2. Individuals are too often unclear of the strategic mission of the teams and company, and sometimes even the project they are working on.
  3. Individuals have few skills developed in learning how to learn from the situations, other people circumstances, events, tasks, issues….and use it to build their character and develop their personality.
  4. New managers, but even long time managers, are at a loss how to resolve conflicts and differences that contribute to frustration. There is a lack of management acumen as to knowing what to do to resolve it. There are few rule books to guide us, other than legal protocols and human resource compliance law.
  5. There is a lot of trying this, trying that, and them trying to just get on with your work but not really changing it.
  6. People can drive a uniquely toxic complaining and commiseration/rumination and share attitudes freely to those who are nice enough to listen and be a sounding board. After all, everyone has many right points of reasoning and accurate points in the midst of their complaining.
  7. Gossip and whining are two of the most common behaviors behind shirking one’s accountability in a conflict. When commiseration gets rigid and unable to shift to an open mindset, then what could be useful for problem solving can become simple, yet lethal gossip. This comes to great expense and cost to individuals, teams, and the organization.
  8. Pretending it is not that bad, but going around the person and stabbing them in the back trying to get others to agree with you how ‘bad’, ‘stupid’ or ‘lame’ your colleague or boss really is – is not effective. It’s not pro-social, not helpful and not really acceptable. In addition, if one hides this by not directly talking with the ‘other person’, then that’s like making them into a joke, not worth even engaging in a constructive fight.
  9. It may be hard to determine who and what process can help you get breakthroughs in the relationships that need practical everyday improvements —oftentimes in communication, thinking skills, strategic vision and strategy, and role clarity. It can be difficult to know what will provide an experience or process that allows you to gain more self-awareness, and figure out what you can and need to do to improve your situation.
  10. It could be the organizational structure, where once strong, is now too weak to hold up rising business demand. However, changing structural lines is not done so swiftly and takes a lot of consideration so it usually not the first choice. Therefore, a people related issue can drag on.

Can an organization be successful with people issues?

Yes, they can be quite successful. That’s the good news. Teams and companies may thrive so much there is little time or attention put toward people issues. When there is a winning product or service that people need and want, and customers are kept happy, then the company can still be successful—even in the midst of peculiar pockets of people issue dynamics.

I’ve even had someone day to me one day, “the company would rather just live with their team dysfunction”. Some people may find some gain from a company’s lack of attention to people conflicts, but for most part, no one is gaining. Companies that ignore people issues have a lot of unnecessary turnout and turmoil.

Unless a serious bottleneck gets identified as a people issue, then oftentimes these areas are ignored.

So, then why bother with people issues anyway? Because companies will be more successful if they reduce people issues. Simply said, a company can be more successful if they have ways to address people conflicts by helping individuals become more self aware. People conflicts in social groups cause at type of psychological silos. These silos risk to dampen good creative problem solving, passion and personal drive of individual and team talent.

A company can lower the risk and costs of losing their best people. Good people are known to leave a work environment and find a new one that has less stress due to personality and people conflicts. The work of the culture is to keep good quality people and help them thrive.

If you are experiencing people issues that take up too much of your mental space and emotional time to manage, then consider engaging a process that can effectively reduce this based on individual’s gaining a greater sense of options. That creative mindset has to be nurtured and reawakened. Call me if you want to discuss anything at Impact Management Inc 425 957- 1996. We specialize in this topic!

About the Author:

Jane Hundley, Executive Coach, M.A. Industrial Organizational Psychology (I/O) & Development, President of Impact Management, Inc.

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