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Blindsided At Work? How To Handle The Situation With Confidence

The recent morning show drama involving Michael Strahan’s departure from LIVE! With Kelly & Michael for Good Morning America has created a controversial conversation about Kelly Ripa’s reaction to the news.  Regardless of how you think she handled the situation, most of us can agree that since we do not star in a TV show, taking several days off after a workplace conflict is hardly ever an option.

At some point in your career, however, you could be blindsided just as Ms. Ripa was.  If you feel the decision directly impacts you, it is vital that you address the situation carefully.  On one hand, you don’t want your anger to get the best of you, but on the other, you don’t want to stay silent. To resolve this issue in a respectful manner, here are four steps you should take:

Take a breather

The initial anger you feel will not lead you to the right decision, so take some time to calm down and collect your thoughts.  Whether you do this by talking through the situation with a friend, watching TV, or doing some yoga, distracting yourself from the problem and venting your frustrations to a third party will help you see the situation more clearly.

Analyze the situation

In issues like this, there is often a lot of complexity and emotion involved.  Be sure to carefully analyze the specific reasons why this decision upset you and why you feel it was handled incorrectly.  To help you get on the right track, ask yourself these self-reflective questions:

  • Are multiple people involved, and if so, who?
  • Do you feel blindsided because of the decision itself, the timing, or how you received the news?
  • How could they have avoided upsetting you?
  • How did this decision affect your work or your environment?

Once you’ve answered these questions, try to view the problem from the other person’s perspective.  Ask yourself what could have caused this person to act in such a disrespectful manner.  Perhaps they had a good reason, or perhaps it wasn’t even their decision.

Address the appropriate parties

Once you’ve decided where the error lies and how it could have been avoided, schedule a meeting with the appropriate parties.  This might be one supervisor or a few different people, depending on the situation.  Make sure everyone is on the same page about why you feel you were wronged, and do your best to explain your reasoning in a calm, articulate, and respectful manner.

Come up with a solution

One of the main objectives of addressing a workplace conflict is to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  That’s why you shouldn’t leave the meeting without feeling like you are on the path to reaching a solution.  Make sure that you’ve come prepared with ideas, as your coworkers will most likely welcome your input.

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