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How to Approach Workplace Conflict

by Jun 25, 2020

Workplace conflict is inevitable. While that may sound dire, don’t be scared! That means you’re not alone–everyone has gone through what you’re experiencing, and you now have the opportunity to turn to their wisdom. Resolving workplace conflict is something you can prepare for in advance, which will help you to both calm your nerves and maintain that calmness. That’s why today we’re highlighting these methods from experts on how to keep your cool amidst any workplace conflict:


Caitlin Flynn at Bustle offers up this excellent way to prep: “Don’t Gossip About The Conflict. When you’re clashing with a coworker, venting to your work wife may feel satisfying in the moment — but office gossip has the potential to backfire really quickly. First of all, there are ears everywhere, and you’ll rightfully look unprofessional if anyone overhears you badmouthing a colleague. Secondly, it’s unfair to the person you’re having conflict with, because everyone still has to work together (including your friend, who is getting unfairly stuck in the middle of all of this). Plus, who wants a rep as the person at work who talks trash about everyone else? We all need to vent after a tough work day, but when the problem is a colleague conflict, try to call a friend or family member once you’re home instead of letting off steam in the break room.” Make sure you are keeping your workplace conversations professional! Speaking poorly of a co-worker to your other colleagues will reflect badly on you–it’ll give off a negative attitude to those around you. Keep your cool in your workplace by taking time to create a game plan in a different space. 


By following this advice from the pros at Indeed, you’ll both get a headstart on future professional interview preparation and an example of a great outlook to adopt for navigating workplace conflict. They start by posing a common interview question:  “How do you deal with conflict? To answer this question successfully, assure your interviewer that you are a good listener who can accept opposing views without getting upset. You could also mention how conflict resolution should take place in a private space. Aim to provide an example if possible. Example: ‘I actively readjust my attitude during a conflict situation. This means that I strive to listen to the other person’s point of view without becoming defensive. I also attempt to move the confrontation to a private space to avoid further complications.’” Keeping your attitude in check is essential; as you learn new information about a situation, know that it’s okay–and may be necessary–to admit to your own mistakes when addressing those of a co-worker. It can be difficult, and even disrespectful, to have your resolution conversation with your colleague in front of everyone in the office. Make sure you’re paying attention to the external environment in addition to monitoring your internal circumstances when building up your calmness.


Let cooler heads prevail. Doing so will allow you to approach resolving any interpersonal work conflicts on an even keel. Remember to keep your personal opinions of co-workers to yourself until you’re in a personal space. And make sure to remain flexible. Join us again tomorrow for more sayings to help you keep your professional cool even in the summer heat.


Image retrieved from Pixabay under the public domain.

This posting is brought to you by Contemporaries Inc., one of the best temp agencies in Boston MA. Also available for payrolling employees in Boston and Greater Boston

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