5 Tips to Managing Workplace Conflict

by Oct 3, 2013

Your office is naturally a stressful environment. A workplace conflict between co-workers can arise from stress.  Managing workplace conflict can sometimes be difficult. By understanding the problems and taking positive actions, you can help make your office into a place where you want to be.

1. Have an Open Mind

Different people see things differently and require multiple points of views in order to find common ground. Try to understand the different perspectives that each person is coming from. Everyone should have a chance to speak and clarify their position and opinion on the issue. It might be helpful to apply a time limit to prevent tangential clutter.

2. Be Respectful

The workplace can be a very diverse atmosphere. This means that what is acceptable to one person may be offensive to another person. Aim to use a business-like language and speak professionally. Don’t let your emotions do the talking.

3. Don’t Personalize Disagreements

Don’t take it personally. Seriously, don’t. It is most likely that your co-workers simply have a different perspective on the project. It is not a negative assessment of you as a person. Be open to constructive criticism and don’t take it as a personal attack.

4. Ask for Help

If the conflict continues to build, ask someone you respect to act as the mediator. This person could be your manager or a human resource professional.

5. Expect Conflicts

In a perfect world, there would be no conflicts at the workplace. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to avoid conflict. No matter where you work, you need to learn to expect conflict as part of your work life. The critical thing to gain from all this is that you deal with all conflicts in a productive way.

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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