Resolving Conflict, Supporting Colleagues, Finishing Conversations

Quite a good week last week. Key development/advancement was resolution of conflict. I had one customer who was – nicely as previously mentioned – asking challenging questions and a colleague who misunderstood something and got quite upset.

Past experience has taught me that I need to confront such issues immediately and directly. In the first case, I answered the customers questions directly and sought confirmation that I had resolved his concerns adequately – which I had.

In the second instance I wrote and asked the colleague for a chance to meet to discuss the misunderstanding and possible discord. The meeting didn’t take place as he was unavailable, but I am hopeful that I have placated the situation.

In both instances I was proactive. I didn’t allow the position to fester and remain unresolved: I took the initiative and approached each party in a conciliatory fashion. I have found – based on past experience – that reaching out to others mitigates the perceived distance and dislike afforded by my Asperger.

In another instance a colleague needed some cover as a fellow worker is off ill. I offered to cover his responsibilities partially which went down well with my colleague.

I always offer to do this – it creates enormous goodwill.  The partial offer to assist however was to ensure that I am not perceived as a soft touch: I’ll help but not be seen as someone who can be taken advantage of.

Issue number three was finishing a conversation in the corridor prematurely. I have made a conscious effort over the last few years to engage in small talk when I meet a colleague. This is good in helping to create a social connection with people.

However, once I had said what I wanted to say, I found myself drifting away mentally and wanting out of the interaction. This achieves the exact, opposite message to the other person that I want: i.e. that I am not interested in them. It was a reminder that I need to watch non-verbal communication on their behalf closely to identify the cue on their behalf to finish the conversation.

Finally, another old chestnut cropped up: doing other small things to avoid commencing uninteresting or unpalatable things. I know I need to do it, so I must not procrastinate and not delay making a start.

Speak next week.

Malcolm

Managing with Asperger Syndrome