Do you ever feel like some (or maybe all) of your coworkers could use a session on a therapist’s couch for how they act in the workplace? Well, workplace therapy really does exist. Esther Perel is a famed psychotherapist, and creator of two podcasts, who is involved in the realm of workplace conflict. “Where Should We Begin?” features couples therapy sessions. Her new podcast, “How’s Work?” also features therapy sessions; this time, it takes a look at work relationships. For her workplace counseling, Ms. Perel focuses on diving deep into underlying issues that surface as conflict between coworkers.
A Shift in Values
So, how does a therapist actually fit into the workplace?
Very well, thanks to a shift in how we view our jobs. Many people no longer expect only a paycheck from their work. Nowadays, workers are looking for a true sense of purpose and fulfillment from the thing they spend the majority of their time doing: working.
Because of this, interpersonal work relationships are becoming increasingly important. If we want to be truly fulfilled at work, we need to have supportive and positive relationships with the people we spend most of the day with.
Changes in Communication
Another shift happening in the workplace is a big change in how we communicate with one another. At many companies, day-to-day conversations with coworkers happen over email and chat more often than face-to-face interactions. On top of that, electronic communication makes for easier access to coworkers, so many people may be suffering from burnout due to the sheer volume of emails and chat messages they receive.
These changes in personal work values and company-wide communication open the door for new opportunities for conflict, and with that, different opportunities for conflict resolution.
Therapy-like approaches, such as mediation, can help in this new kind of workplace because they address things like communication issues and how personal needs can impact conflict. Not everyone can afford to bring Esther Perel in, so we recommend finding a local mediator who can take similar approaches. Consider reaching out to Pollack Peacebuilding Systems for help with any conflict or workplace optimization needs.