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Learn How to Navigate Common Communication Challenges in the Aviation Workplace

Jan. 10, 2017

Communicating with colleagues can be challenging, especially when relaying negative information. When is it worth confronting a colleague with an issue and when is it better to keep quiet?

Confronting a colleague about their behavior, attitude or other concerns can be awkward.

“Our dilemma is often, do we say something, or do we say nothing at all?” said author, communication expert and motivational speaker Sarita Maybin, a presenter on the prestigious TEDx stage. “There are two extremes – some people fight every single battle, which wears their colleagues down. Then there are people who never raise concerns,” but most people fall between these extremes.

“Conflict doesn’t magically go away. It just gets grungier, like dishes left in the sink,” said Maybin.

Maybin recommended asking these questions to determine if confrontation is wise.

  • Is this a battle worth fighting? In other words, do my actions or does my behavior have a negative impact? In aviation, unresolved conflict may be more than uncomfortable and could lead to unsafe conditions.
  • Does the source of the conflict really matter?
  • Will the situation affect my attitude, if left unaddressed? Will it use my energy in an unconstructive way?

“Notice ego isn’t on this list,” said Maybin. “For example, ‘If they did it the way I told them, it would be easier’ is ego.

“Is it just ego? Then let it go,” she suggested.

Maybin said she doesn’t recommend sugar-coating bad news or negative feedback, but she does believe negative information can be presented without being “ugly,” adding, “Say what you mean and mean what you say – and don’t say it mean.”

Learn more from Maybin about navigating conflict in the workplace on Feb. 8 at the Opening General Session of the NBAA Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference (SDC2017) in Fort Worth, TX.

Learn more about SDC2017 and register today.