Tips for Handling Workplace Conflict

Tips for Handling Workplace Conflict

by Sarah Todd, Client Service Coordinator, Acclivity Healthcare

With so many differences in work styles and personalities, it is not uncommon for employee conflict to surface within the workplace. Allowing conflict to build and intensify creates an uncomfortable and stressful environment for not only those directly involved, but those around them as well. Whether it is with staff, peers, or management, do not avoid the conflict, hoping it will go away. Try implementing the following steps the next time you are struggling with a conflict at work.

Keep an Open Mind
Workplaces can be very diverse. Remember that not everyone may share the same perceptions and beliefs as you do. While you may not agree with everything your coworkers say and do, try to be respectful of their differences. As a result, you are more likely to earn the respect of others.

Don’t Place Blame
Before you accuse someone else for being in the wrong, think about what you may have said or done to contribute to the conflict. Try to place yourself in the other person’s shoes. Was there something you said or did that was offensive? Take some time to think about the whole situation before confronting the other person or speaking with another individual.

Make Effort to Communicate
Before you involve another party, take a few minutes to sit down and try to talk out the issue with the other person. If you do not fully understand the conflict, ask questions. Do not assume that you know all the facts. Communicate your willingness to resolve the issue. Listen carefully and acknowledge the other person’s feelings.

Ask for Help
If you can not resolve the issue together and it continues to build, approach the proper individual in your workplace that can act as a mediator. This could be your manager or a human resources professional. The mediator will listen to both individual’s concerns then try to help them find a common ground. Keep in mind that solving a conflict is about compromise, not placing blame or giving in.