Resolving Workplace Conflict

As children, we don’t choose who our parents or siblings are, the same applies to our workplace; we don’t get to choose who our co-workers are. We sometimes find ourselves stuck with individuals we may never have chosen to interact with on a daily basis. Occasionally, tempers would flare and a clash of egos may occur. These should be handled amicably so that it does not affect productivity. Here are some important factors that help to maintain a peaceful atmosphere among co-workers:

  • Communicate: Communication is key to maintaining peace in the workplace. Most causes of uproar between co-workers stream from miscommunication. This can be also influenced by digital messages such as emails and texts that do not denote moods or intentions and are often misinterpreted. It is important that recipients receive messages without bias so as to avoid breeding strife. A simple and professional face-to-face discussion should clear the air in cases of uncertainty.
  • Drop Your Ego: The last place where ego is useful is in the workplace. It is usually advisable to keep your ego out of the equation when relating to your colleagues. Be a good listener so that you do not mistake an honest correction for an attack. Keep in mind that all your colleagues and supervisors are working together for the general good so if a co-worker considers your work poorly done, take it as constructive criticism and not as personal attack. Dropping your ego in the workplace reduces the chances of conflict to occur.
  • Stay away from Gossip: Always take third–party information with a pinch of salt. Unless directly confronted, do not take things to heart. Someone once said, “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” Sometimes politics can spring up in the work place then gossip begin to fly around. If there’s rivalry, then there is a possibility of twisting words in other to create a negative perception of a person. Be careful to avoid being entangled in such scenarios. Mischievous individuals who love drama, can fuel certain misconceptions and later on apologize when the damage has been done. Be careful not to fall victim to expensive jokes. When entangled in such a mix-up, either go straight to the party involved or ignore until you hear the truth from the horse’s mouth.
  • Avoid Passive Aggressive Behaviour: Some people are passive aggressive and prefer to dish out subtler attacks. They avoid direct confrontation even when they are uncomfortable with your style or actions. They would rather hurl sarcastic statements that denote their concern and this can fuel strife among colleagues. To avoid this, it is better to express your dislikes to your colleagues in an honest and harmless manner so as to avoid conflict.
  • Just say, “I am Sorry”: To err is human, we all make mistakes. A simple apology can save a lot of conflict in the workplace. This is where your ego needs to take the boot. Sometimes our actions are not intended to hurt others but they do. At that point, avoid defending yourself, apologize and show that you mean it. Keeping peace in the workplace can be tasking but it is important for you to be the bigger person by taking the first step before the situation worsens.
  • Leverage on the resolution: Sometimes, conflicts bring a better understanding among co-workers. As soon as there is a mutual understanding between yourself and your colleagues, maintain it by building a closer relationship from there. Don’t lose the opportunity of bonding in order to foster a better working atmosphere and productivity.

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