It is normal for people to have conflicts from time to time, particularly when they share the same space from time to time. This explains why employees have disagreements from time to time. If you have a conflict with a coworker, it is important to make sure that it does not escalate into a bigger issue, as this can result in sanctions or even dismissal. Common causes of conflicts between employees include stress from work, office gossip, jealousy, poor productivity from certain employees, perception of inequalities, as well as competition for promotions. If you have an issue with any coworker, there are ways to deal with it. This article contains steps to take when you have an issue with a coworker.
Tips To Follow When Dealing With Conflict With A Coworker
- Do Not Gossip About The Conflict: No matter how the issue came about or who is at fault, gossiping about the issue will only make matters worse. While it might be refreshing to rant about it to another coworker or your closest pal in the office, bringing in another party might only escalate the issue. The person that you gossip about the conflict with, might also tell another person with an added narrative that will most likely paint your coworker in bad light. Also, talking about your coworker to someone else is not healthy, as you are most likely to badmouth them, causing other coworkers to inherit enemies. Gossiping also earns the reputation of being a loose mouth, so it is best to simply get to the root of the matter.
- Address The Conflict As Quickly As Possible: It is essential that you address the issue quickly, instead of leaving it for later. Leaving it too late might cause you both to become completely hostile to one another, thereby reducing the chances of a reconciliation. Addressing it quickly will prevent the conflict from becoming a bigger issue. Wait for a few hours after the argument (if any), and talk about it when both parties are calmer.
- Speak Face-To-Face: A lot of information can be lost in text, which is why it is crucial that you discuss face-to-face when addressing a conflict. Emails and WhatsApp texts might seem convenient but it is best to avoid that.
- Find A Common Ground: Finding a common ground is needed if there is to be any chance of the conflict being resolved. Also, keep an open mind and listen while your coworker talks. Do not trade blames and also be sure not to absorb yourself of blame. Be calm when it is your turn to address the issue, and state your grievances clearly.
- Involve The Third Party: If a resolution cannot be made after you have tried to discuss it with your coworker, then you should involve a third party. This option is best for conflicts that involve harassment and discrimination. Be sure to contact HR in such cases.
If the conflict is with a superior who you believe might lay you off, then it is best to hire an unfair dismissal lawyer.
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