Conflict is often assumed to be centered on arguments and head-butting. But there’s a whole other type of conflict that can occur when we leave others out. Many of us can recall a time when we weren’t chosen, invited, or felt brushed aside. While this doesn’t involve an escalating argument—being excluded and how we perceive “disinterest” can create long lasting hurt.
Given that relationships are the number one driver of life satisfaction, as leaders we should be tuning into making sure our employees feel included—which they may perceive as an indirect signal of being valued. In an increasing remote environment where we are conscientious of zoom fatigue and altered working schedules, it can be easy to cancel one-to-one conversations, reduce unstructured team time, or make what we believe is a respectful effort to reduce contact to promote individual freedom with time.
Yet, there is a balance between keeping people engaged and valuing autonomy. While we may want people to feel that they generally have more control over their schedules, we also want to maintain team cohesion and individual connection. While it may seem off-topic in conversation, we might consider checking in with the team, that they are checking in with each other.