Conflicts at work are inevitable and when people are working together, there are bound to be disagreements, but there are some ways to resolve conflicts at work for a calm working environment. Sometimes the work place can seem like a scene from Mean Girls, where the school setting is replaced with the office environment and various people are jostling for prime position in the professional primeval forest. Friction at work can affect us all at some point in our lives and sometimes it's simply due to people's stress levels increasing, but here are some simple ways to resolve conflicts at work.
One of the ways to resolve conflicts at work is to first think about what it is you would like to do about the situation. Is it something that you think will resolve itself after a 24 hour rest? Sometimes, that's all it takes for someone to come back to work the next day and say "hey, I thought about what happened and I'm sorry." If that isn't the case, don't let things fester. Friction at work can become stressful and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Speaking to someone face to face can make all the difference. Email communication can sometimes mean that there can be a misunderstanding, as it can be quite difficult to convey tone via email. If I had a penny for every time someone said, "you should have seen the email she/he sent," I would be quite wealthy right now! If email communication is getting out of hand and you can speak to the person face to face then do so. People tend to be a lot more amenable when you actually go and speak to them.
Watch your body language and try not to seem hostile when speaking to someone you're having issues with. In particular, watch your facial expression and tone. It's amazing what other people can pick up from you. If you need to take a few moments to calm down then go for a walk or take a breather in the ladies. It's amazing what time away from an uncomfortable situation can do.
There are sometimes people at work who just love to jump on the Moan Float and have a boogie at the Bitching Parade. They can often be found attempting to fuel the fire if they see conflict happening. You gotta love 'em. But try not to get involved if they try and have a bitching session with you about someone and simply change the subject. They'll soon find that you're not the go to gal when it comes to talking about colleagues behind their backs.
Always listen to how the other person is feeling and try and see things from their point of view. It's sometimes easy to forget how others might be feeling, but listening and acknowledging how they might be feeling in an attempt to understand their position can bring you one step closer to resolving conflicts.
Be clear and confident about what you want and don't let work bullies push you into the metaphorical corner. Being positive in the work place will show that you're flexible and approachable too - skills which will see you in good stead in the future.
If you have tried your best to resolve the situation but feel that intervention may be needed, perhaps you may want to speak to a superior. If it's making your life unbearable, sometimes it's better to tell someone else in an attempt to solve the problem.
We have all encountered conflict, whether at work or school, and it can be character building. And whilst we're not always going to be BFFs with our work colleagues, it's important to be healthy and happy at work, as we spend more time at work than we do with our nearest and dearest! What advice would you give to anyone struggling with conflicts in the work place?
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