Conflict In The Workplace

Apologise and say sorry? But what happens when that doesn’t apply?

Enter: Conflict in the nanny household.

Contrary to the typical nanny cliché, it wasn’t between the Nanny and Boss Dad. Nor between Nanny and the kids, and not even between Nanny and a potential Helicopter Mum. No, those bases were all covered and A-OK as per usual. Instead, the world ending conflict (well the last week at the very least) had arisen between Nanny and the newly hired cleaning lady. And to clarify, from my perspective, it was very much the cleaning lady who had the issue.

The all important dynamic in our household had been uprooted, a dynamic that Boss Mum and I monitor and strive to maintain on a daily basis. Apparently she thought it appropriate to muscle in on my job whilst neglecting her own duties, to express her opinions in regards to my ability to perform the role and to express her own opinions as to the general running of the household and the children’s routines. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed, Viv wasn’t impressed, Charlie wasn’t impressed and most importantly, Boss Mum wasn’t happy. Long story short, this household is once again on the hunt for the perfect person to help me to keep the house in order so that I can focus on the (four!) kids. Crisis dodged.

The recent conflict (yes I deem it a conflict when I find myself under interrogation and being judged by my new colleague),got me to thinking:

  • What happens when you’re faced with conflict in the workplace?
  • Just because a workplace is set in the home and not in a (conventional) office, does it make the conflict any different or any less crucial?
  • How should you handle the situation to minimise the fallout?

I’ve always been a firm believer that we should pick and choose our battles. That’s not to say that we should just step aside and let other people walk all over us. Just simply that some times it really may not be worth it. At other times, times when we know that we’re not going to be able to live with the situation and that we shouldn’t be expected to, times when our carefully constructed code of morals and ethics are challenged, then it certainly calls for a little conflict resolution management.

Conflict in the workplace can be stressful and unpleasant, in fact I find all types of conflict stressful and unpleasant. But hey, maybe that’s just me. Given that I hate (HATE) conflict and will go to extreme lengths to avoid it, I’ve had to learn the all important and essentials skills to conflict resolution. I’ve also had to learn (at times through trial and error) how best to utilise them effectively. The key point to remember, and that holds me in good stead, is:

  • Communication

Yep, that’s all there is to it. Of course there are different factors to consider, but when it comes down to the crux of it, communication is key. Calm, reasonable and coherent communication that is assertive and yet also conducive to a two-way exchange is the only method that’s going to achieve a positive result. As an aside, well honed listening skills also come in handy.

As our rather trying week came to a close, I found myself longing for the weekend. I was envisaging two full days without kids and drama, plenty of quiet time and a chance to check in with the BF. But then I realised that this picture wasn’t right. Something was wrong here because that’s not me. I love my job and I love the kids. And whilst yes I love my weekends too, I never view them as my escape from reality. So instead I stopped, stopped to chat with Boss Mum and to check in with how we were all going. After a good long chat over numerous cups of iced tea, interspersed with kid and baby chatter naturally, we reconnected and made sure we were back on the same page.

Crisis not averted, crisis overcome. Now that is an appropriate resolution. Oh and I even had the pleasure of Miss Charlie’s company chez moi for a Girls Night on Saturday evening. And even though I didn’t have an entire weekend away from kids and work, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. In the words of Dr Seuss,


“So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.”

With love from NannySheCanDo and all of her lovely kids.


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