According to a study by the University of North Carolina, nearly one-fourth of workers claimed they were less productive because they spent time avoiding conflict with a co-worker. Conflict in the workplace is almost part of the job but these 12 practical tips will help limit its negative impact on you and your work.
Conflicts will happen and shouldn’t be feared. Running away from them or engaging in passive aggressive behavior will make them worse.
Take a step back
The worst thing you can do in a conflict situation is lose your temper. If your blood starts to boil, take a deep breath and count to ten, or leave the room if that doesn’t work.
The root cause of the conflict may not be what you’re currently arguing about. Make sure both sides know what they’re really disputing and write this down.
Let everyone speak
Silencing your opponent won’t lead to long-term solutions.
Choose your language carefully
Don’t begin sentences by saying, “You did this” or “You messed up”.
Listen and repeat
Show your co-worker that you’re really listening by repeating their concerns back to them.
You won’t get your way entirely, and neither will your opponent. Understand that you’ll both need to make compromises.
Don’t take it personally
This conflict isn’t about you and it won’t define you, if you don’t let it.
Don’t fuel it
Avoid gossip about your opponent because that runs the risk of making the conflict personal.
Pick your battles
Just because you’re in a conflict with your co-worker, it doesn’t mean every interaction with them should be a battle.
Bring in an outside party
If you can’t handle this on your own, contact an external mediator.
Document the solution
This gives the conflict closure.