Expecting Conflict and Resistance in a Work Meeting

I’ve been asked to attend a team meeting with colleagues early next week where our being allowed to work from home one day a week is being reviewed. I know others in the team have strong views and don’t think any of us should be allowed to work from home and should be in the office at all times. These team members are senior to me.

I have equally strong views that working from home is beneficial, it helps with work-life balance.  Personally, I get more done and am more productive at home. I also think removing this flexibility from us would be a backward step for the organisation, particularly when other organisations are introducing more flexibility for workers, not removing it.

Very often in these meetings where I am expecting resistance to or conflict with my ideas I end up either backing down and go along with the others (then feeling resentful) or I get defensive and angry and still don’t get my point over effectively. I have tried some models, see below. Would welcome some coaching on this before my meeting!

C – meeting to discuss working from home
T- they are going to tell us we have to be in the office 5 days a week and can no longer work from home
F- frustrated
A- I don’t state my views
R- I don’t get to work from home (and I feel resentful and continue to feel frustrated)

C – meeting to discuss working from home
T- it’s so ridiculous to even be discussing this when other organisations are giving workers more flexibility not less
F- angry
A – I make short, defensive statements in the meeting. I am not listened to. I may even get up and leave.
R – I don’t put my ideas across

Intentional model

C – meeting to discuss working from home
T – I wonder why this is an issue
F – curious
A – ask questions, listen, be respectful of the views of others, ask to state my alternative view
R – I am listened to

I’m not convinced I can stay curious however and won’t flip into annoyance or defensiveness. I also have another unintentional model that comes up to me when I think of staying curious.

C – meeting to discuss working from home
T – If I stay curious the decision may be made without me having stated my point
F – anxious
A – Ask questions but as soon as something triggers me or if the decision seems to be being made without my input I become defensive and don’t put my point across well
R – we can no longer work from home, I lose the only flexibility I have in my job