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How to build teams and relationships after divisive situations like Brexit

3 Mins

When feelings run high, things are sometimes said and done that can create ‘emotional walls’ between people, making it hard to build teams, relationships and trust. And yet, unless you are willing to sacrifice those relationships, it is exactly what needs to happen. The EU referendum is a good example of this; division was created through heated discussions, argument and social media furore.

The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is for most people not true. One of the main reasons that people hold on to grudges and experience conflict with another person is often due to a sense of hurt. And when it comes to Brexit, people are or have been experiencing all sorts of emotions about the other side; pain, anger, sadness, frustration and more.

Most of the time, even though there’s conflict and division, people need to come together again and find a way forward together. It may not always seem obvious at first, but it is definitely possible to build teams ad relationships, with determination, focus and plenty of good will.

These are our top seven recommendations for how you can rebuild relationships and lead through conflict.

1) Use your EQ

When people don’t feel listened to, it’s rare that they can overcome their differences. They may say that they have gotten over it, but what you get instead is growing passive aggressiveness. Be prepared to let people express their concerns. Listen without judgment and calmly share your thoughts and feelings too. When people have a chance to share and feel heard, they can more easily come to some reasoning that can move the conflict closer to resolution. Be aware of your own emotions too; what you feel is bound to show. Manage these as part of the process.

2) Encourage willingness to unite

There must be a willingness to unite and come together  if you’re going to strive to build teams that have already broken apart. This doesn’t always come naturally so someone needs to take the lead. Listen to people’s concerns. When people feel heard, it increases their willingness to listen others. Start to show that it’s possible to build bridges, by inviting people into dialogue. Take the first step and show that you are willing to put effort into the relationship.

3) Identify the shared goal

Find a shared vision or goal. Encourage dialogue that focus around: What do we have in common? What can we agree on? What do we all want to achieve? Involve people in the dialogue and in finding and committing to your shared vision, purpose, goal and responsibility.

Carry on for points four to seven.

Image: Shutterstock

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