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Resolving conflicts with those within the Workplace

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Fact is - when we are working full-time we spend more time with our fellow co-workers than with our friends and family outside of work. Being together in an office at least 8 hours a day can result in great friendships, so much so that some of your colleagues might also be your best friends. But obviously this is not always the case. There will always be some people that you might not get along with. However we still have to spend 8 hours with them in the office. Needless to say that this will eventually cause some disagreements and conflicts. Conflicts in the workplace are inevitable. It is a stressful and competitive environment which doesn’t always bring out the best in us. Another reason for conflicts in the office can be cultural differences. When you are working abroad it is very likely that the company culture is different from what you are used to. You might not always agree with your colleagues and you will have to deal with them anyway.

But, these conflicts at work can be quite tricky to handle because you can’t deal with them the same way you deal with conflicts at home. You have to handle them in a professional and respectful manner. We have put together some tips that will help you handle these situations when they come around.


  • Address the conflict

Are you feeling some kind of tension building up between you and a colleague? Don’t wait until this turns into a completely hostile environment. To prevent a snowball effect you should address the issue rather sooner than later. It might turn out to be just a small misunderstanding! However you shouldn’t do this without first calming down and getting a clear head - otherwise the conversation might escalate and we really don’t want that now do we?


  • Discuss the issue face-to-face

If you want to address the conflict you should make sure that you do this face-to-face. Ask your colleague to sit down together to discuss the problem in a private setting. Make sure you leave enough time for this meeting so that everyone gets to speak their mind. Even though it may seem easier to have this conversation via email, you should avoid this because it might cause even more misunderstandings - feelings and empathy go out the window when it comes to the written word in the workplace. Making the first step and asking for a meeting might even take out some of the tension and you will be able to resolve the conflict easily.


  • Keep an open mind and listen

We all have different opinions and a different perception of things - and that’s normal and ok. But we need to be open-minded in order to resolve conflicts. If you are going into the meeting willing to listen and to try to understand your colleague’s point of view it will be much easier for you to find common ground. You probably won’t become BFFs but you can significantly defuse the conflict.


  • Stay calm when talking

However this meeting is not just about listening. It is about understanding each other’s point and for that you will both have to express your feelings and opinion. You should keep in mind that this is a work environment so you can’t get too emotional and you have to keep the conversation on a professional level. You can even take some notes beforehand and stick to them to make sure you are not drifting away from the subject. If your colleague is not cooperating the way you expected try to stay calm and take a deep breath.


  • Bring in help if necessary

If all fails and you can’t seem to be able to resolve this conflict, it could be helpful to bring in a third party to help you settle this argument. Ask another colleague or the HR officer to mediate and give advice.


So in a nutshell - if you feel like there is a problem with a colleague you should address the issue directly and in a private setting. Make sure you are calmed down and talk in a professional manner. If you feel like talking to your colleague won’t help to solve the problem, bring in a third party to settle the conflict.

So that’s it. We hope these tips will help you to resolve conflicts with those within the Workplace easier.


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