How to manage conflict in the workplace, Pt (1)

Conflicts are inevitable in the workplace because not everyone will understand your point of view. Here are some tips to guide you towards having a serene working environment

Expect conflict

Don’t let disagreements gather momentum and turn into major crises that could affect your work productivity. Rather, you should address and resolve the issue as soon as possible for it not to fester.

Let everyone speak

Don’t turn a basic conflict into a one-sided monologue. Take the time to listen and try to learn something from the situation. Let the other person clarify his or her perspective and opinion on the issue.

Be open to compromise

Holding desperately to a grudge isn’t likely to yield many benefits in a workplace. Instead, show that you are willing to give up ground on certain aspects of a disagreement. Your willingness to compromise demonstrates that you aren’t letting negative emotions dictate your behaviour or hamper professional objectivity and productivity.

Choose your battles

Once there’s tension between you and a co-worker, there’s a temptation to become overly defensive with every type of interaction you have with that specific person. Try to approach interaction with this co-worker with a sense of objectivity, rather than building a sense of hostility or defensiveness beforehand. Pick the issues that you simply can’t compromise on and let other things slide.

Don’t personalise or internalise disagreements

Be open to constructive criticism, and keep in mind that turning a conflict into a learning situation may greatly benefit your career. However, if the other party is clearly making personal attacks on you, don’t respond to the attacks. It is unprofessional and could escalate the situation. You may report to a higher authority.

Use business-like language

Conflicts at work can easily intensify emotions in both parties. For many people, it is very easy to slip up and use attacking words that make the other person feel threatened. Instead, stick with professional language.

Avoid gossip

When other employees try to share gossip with you, politely change the subject or remove yourself from the conversation. Refuse to participate in damaging or disparaging conversations that have no positive purpose.


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