Managing Workplace Conflict

Published Wednesday, March 02, 2011 5:09 PM

Think managing workplace conflict is an abstract HR issue? Think again. Conflict at work can led to a host of negative outcomes including lost productivity, stress, chronic health issues and the inability to concentrate.

Work It Out

Getting along with co-workers and clients is a crucial business skill so if conflict is brewing, make time to address the issue head on. Tips for managing conflict include:

Take a Deep Breath: If a colleague is driving you crazy, take a step back and neutrally evaluate the situation. You may discover that the person in question simply has a different perspective or style and is not deliberately trying to annoy or harass you.

Be Candid: Take time to communicate clearly. If you've failed to tell your colleague that their behavior is adversely impacting you, how are they to know? Take time to calmly and coolly explain your perspective. Your co-worker may be unaware that their behavior has upset or bothered you and may be receptive to your concerns.

Agree to Disagree: Sometimes people are truly out of sync. You can agree to disagree with a person's work style or opinion. Just be sure to treat your co-worker professionally and politely and make clear that you expect the same courtesy.

Take it Up with Higher Ups: If a co-worker is deliberately sabotaging you, shirking work or committing a host of other office sins, schedule time to discuss the situation with your boss. Again, be sure to remain professional and objective. Your boss will be more receptive to your concerns if you don't come off as a complainer or an emotional wreck.

Bad Bosses:  If your boss is the source of conflict, the same rules apply. Communication is key; try to dispassionately and professionally communicate your concerns and work towards getting your relationship on a better footing. If your interaction with your boss does not improve, consider consulting with your HR department for guidance or in a worst case scenario, explore other job options within the organization or elsewhere.

For more tips on managing workplace conflict, read Tips for Dealing with Workplace Conflict, The Real Cost of Workplace Conflict, and the useful 7 Steps to Defuse Workplace Tension. 

How do you manage work place conflict? Has your HR department been helpful in resolving worker disputes? Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.

by Candie Harris



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# Motivation to lose weight said on Sunday, April 08, 2012 5:23 AM

1x07zJ Major thankies for the blog post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

# Taimur said on Thursday, April 26, 2012 6:38 PM

Boy that rlaely helps me the heck out.

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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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