5 Strategies For Confronting Conflict At Work

March 2, 2020  |  

Seeking For Advice From The Older Colleague

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Conflict in relationships is inevitable and work relationships are not exempt. While it can feel like the best course of action when is to sweep things under the rug when you and a colleague have a disagreement, this can lead to resentment and low morale over time. In many instances, it’s better to confront your coworker and tackle the issue head-on so that everyone can move forward. The best teams are not the ones that avoid conflict but the ones that are effective at resolving them. Here are six tips for effectively confronting conflict at work.

Keep it cute

And by cute, I mean professional. At the end of the day, it’s just a colleague. It’s not a relative. It’s not a spouse or romantic partner. If you left your job today, you may never see this person again. So keep that in mind as you deal with the conflict and hopefully, that will help you keep things in perspective. You may feel annoyed, aggravated or even disrespected by this person, but they’re still not worth you coming out of pocket and embarrassing yourself. Remember that you’re there to do a job, collect your coin and go home.

Remain in control of your emotions

Conflicts with colleagues can kick up many different emotions, but it’s important that you remain in control of said emotions. Though you may want to go off, avoid lashing out and making a scene that you’ll regret later. Also be careful not to make important business decisions based on how you may be feeling at a given moment.

Be direct

There are some things that you won’t be able to let slide. In these instances that require a “come to Jesus” meeting, be straight up and focus on the facts. Don’t be passive-aggressive or speak in code. For the sake of healthy communication and reaching some sort of resolution, be mindful of your tone and avoid raising your voice. If you feel the conversation is becoming too heated, table it for another time.

Discuss the issue in person

Twitter fingers are not limited to social media. People have a tendency to write things in email that they would never say to a person’s face. Additionally, tone can be misread when communication is written. For this reason, it’s best to have the conversation face-to-face.

Involve a third party if necessary

There are times when conflict can be resolved with a simple sit-down and there are conversations that should be held in the presence of a human resources representative. If a situation has become especially toxic, inappropriate, or offensive, reach out to HR and make them aware of what is happening.

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