A 10-Minute Meditation to Help You Solve Conflicts at Work

Start with compassion for yourself.

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There are few things at work as stressful as feeling that you can’t communicate with someone who has an impact on how well you do your job and on the quality of your experience at work. How many times have you thought carefully about something you want to communicate to your boss, a colleague, or subordinate, only to find yourself leaving the conversation feeling angry or frustrated by how it went?

Karen (not her real name), a program officer for a nonprofit organization, had an experience like this when she first tried to convince her boss, Maria, to let her work from home three afternoons per week. She had thought carefully about how to make the most persuasive argument. She was prepared with a rationale that addressed her own needs as well as her employer’s, details of how she would manage communication while physically absent, and buy-in from colleagues.

Here’s how the meeting unfolded:

Karen: Maria, I have a 14-year-old son who’s struggling. It’s causing a great deal of stress in my family and making it more difficult for me to perform at work. By being around more in the afternoons, I could provide the structure he needs to focus…