We’ve all been in difficult interpersonal situations, be it in our personal or professional lives. Unlike conflict with a friend, relative, or spouse, the rules for conflict resolution in a corporate environment can often be far more complex and confusing. Being honest, sharing feelings, and coming to a place of mutual compromise are definitely some of my go to techniques in a personal setting.
But when the playing field isn’t level, and issues like hierarchies, power struggles, political maneuvering, and passive-aggressive behavior are thrown into the mix, a workplace conflict can often times go unresolved, leaving either one party or both feeling resentful and misunderstood.
So what are some of the most effective spiritual solutions for navigating through workplace woes?
1. Always act from a space of positive energy.
What does this mean? Often times, when you’re caught up in chaos or conflict of an unfair situation, it’s easy to become reactive and defensive. When you react from an energetic place of anxiety, anger, vulnerability, or powerlessness, your actions then continue to perpetuate that low vibration and the results are fruitless at best or further damaging at worst. You HAVE to focus on shifting the energy dynamic first, before acting.
This means focusing on the emotional and mental state that you want to come from (even if you don’t necessarily feel that way in the moment). What kind of emotional space do you want to project? Confident, reasonable, team-oriented, and calm. Taking the time to get into this space, mentally and emotionally, before writing that next email or entering the next meeting, helps diffuse negative energy from a co-worker (because you’re no longer at his or her level), and puts you in a position of greater power.
2. Be open to creative solutions the Universe may have in store.
Sometimes when you’re caught up in the problem at hand, it’s impossible to see what potential solutions may exist. The vibration of a problem is very different than the vibration of a solution. So if you’re focused on the problem, you may be out of vibrational range of a solution that could really benefit you. Ask the Universe to help you find the best resolution, and be open to receiving the answer. Take a step back and observe the situation almost as a third party. This may help you not take other people’s actions personally (even if there are arrows being thrown) and not get caught up in the drama. You are then positioning yourself in a vibrational energy space that allows the Universe to deliver the solution to you.
3. Know when to exit a toxic situation.
I saved this one for last, because there are many solutions that should be tried before resulting to this route of action. If, however, you feel that you’ve given it all you have to resolve a conflict, negotiate a fair solution, and have asked for help or a mediator, it may be time to consider whether distancing yourself from a situation or person may be the path of least resistance. If this is not possible in the environment you work in (the person is a core member of the team you work on, for instance), you may try to work around that person until some of the tension dissipates or ask to be put on a different team. As a last result, you may want to consider whether it is time to transition to a different company / role.
Just remember though - wherever you go, there you are. In other words, no workplace is perfect, so you may encounter similar challenges no matter where you end up. That’s why it’s important to not just run away from an uncomfortable situation. It’s always best to begin to shift your energy from the place you are in NOW – it will influence your point of attraction to a higher energetic vibration, and then the best path (whether it’s to stay or go) is more likely to become intuitive and apparent.
Do you have a spiritual solution for conflict resolution that has worked for you? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Dr. Kulkarni is a licensed physician in New York City and has been an avid practioner of meditation, spirituality, and mind-body medicine for over 10 years. Learn more at Leveraging Thought.