Workplace Conflict: What happens when motivations collide?

Workplace conflict. Everyone has faced it at some point.

When we are struggling to work with someone, we are often tempted to attribute the fault to the other person. Our brains are more or less wired to assume that we are usually doing the right thing, and when others deviate from our expectations or standards, we presume it’s a personal failing on their part.

In fact, when a working relationship is going way off the rails, it’s possible – even likely – that both people are working hard, committed to the organization, and want the project to succeed.

So if no one is the villain in these friction-filled working relationships, then what exactly is the problem? What’s the cause of the conflict? What we frequently find at the root of relationship problems are conflicting motivations. Recognizing motivations – both our own, and our colleagues’ – can be the key to seeing our differences objectively, and to finding new ways to stop playing the blame game and start working together more effectively.

Here, longtime coach Christine Chassé explores what happens when two people with a complex web of conflicting motivations are working together on a project. Take a look at where they might find friction – and why understanding each other’s motivations using a tool like the IDI Comparative Profile can be the key to helping them get back on track.


Click here for more from Christine on motivations in conflict.

About the author

Lucy is the Head of Marketing at MRG. She's a passionate people person who talks with her hands even when she's on the phone. She will not rest until everyone on earth has taken their IDI.

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