Conflict resolution in the workplace can be a stressful thing. But if you acknowledge it and try to work through the issues at hand in a thoughtful manner, you can often take the situation from bad to good. Here are 5 ways to avoid co-worker conflict:
1 – Don’t gossip
Nothing positive comes out of engaging in negative gossip. It only adds fuel to the fire and makes the conflict worse. If you’re a manager, it’s critical to never take part in gossip. And if there are rumors floating around, be sure to put the brakes on them as soon as you can. Talk directly to the employees that you believe are involved in spreading the gossip, and also address the situation with your entire team so there’s a mutual understanding of the issue and everyone is aware that steps were taken to bring closure to the gossip.
2 – Talk it out
It can be tough, but talking things through with the co-worker you’re battling is a smart move. Put the issues out on the table, but in a professional and non-defensive way. Listen to each other, ask questions, open up the lines of communication. Try to resolve the situation as best you can by suggesting fixes and moving on.
3 – Keep calm
You’ve likely heard the saying “Keep Calm and Carry On” – and have most certainly been witness to the hundreds of spinoffs of the famous World War II saying. OK, so here’s another one – Keep Calm and Resolve Conflict. Don’t lose your cool over workplace conflict. Take some deep breaths, go for a walk, do some stretches. When you’re calm enough to talk to your co-worker, do it.
Don’t lose your cool over workplace conflict. Take some deep breaths, go for a walk, do some stretches. When you’re calm enough to talk to your co-worker, do it.
4 – Find a mediator
Having a third party participate as mediator can help bring an end to conflict resolution in the workplace. So if you’re not comfortable confronting the person you’re having troubles with, ask for some mediation help from a manager or another employee that both parties respect and trust. The mediator can guide the conversation, help propose a solution or just be there to monitor the situation and make sure things stay positive and professional.
5 – Agree to disagree
Sometimes you won’t be able to resolve the conflict, and that’s OK. If you’ve attempted to talk things through and can’t come to an agreement, then all that’s’ left to do is agree to disagree. So move on and, if needed, revisit the situation at a later time.
Have any of these tips personally worked for you? What other ways have you successfully handled conflict resolution in the workplace? Share your feedback below.