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Dealing With Workplace Conflict

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Conflict is a major concern in both your personal and working life. If not dealt with quickly, tactfully and efficiently conflict could lead to serious confrontation and/or a complete breakdown of relationships. It could even lead to violent and dangerous situations.

A conflict could stem from a minor complaint that was not resolved and left to fester. This could then gradually grow into an insurmountable problem. A conflict can be as innocent as sibling rivalry – arguing over a toy – to a dispute with a customer or colleague over a product, service or procedure to a war between countries in extreme cases.

There will be times during the course of a working life where you will have to deal with complaints and conflicts. Your successful handling of these situations will have a direct bearing on you and your organization’s reputation for customer service and its continued success.

Resolving conflict in the workplace can be pretty tough to handle, but it’s still important to know how. After all, your work environment can become very volatile if you allow conflicts to go on unresolved.

A petty fight over a small account can escalate into all-out corporate war. And trust me, you don’t really want it to go that far! So how do you go about resolving conflict in the workplace without putting your life in jeopardy?

What causes conflict.

Conflicts normally occur when people have different ideas and believe they have the superior view point. This is particularly true of conflict in the workplace – between colleagues and/or management. The issue becomes one of power, of gaining control or of ‘being proved right’. To resolve this type of conflict it is necessary to move from the power clash, to one of service and responsibility – to work for the good of the group rather than individuals within it. In resolving a conflict it should be more important to make sure that both parties needs are met rather than winning the argument.

Conflict can also be caused by a lack of communication or by a failure to recognise the needs of another person. Whatever the scenario, the main component in conflict is misunderstanding. These misunderstandings can occur due to differences in age, culture, race or religion. Conflict situations can include customer related issues, misunderstandings or communication barriers or Conflict among work colleagues.

Easy. Just follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to maintaining harmonious relationships with your co-workers and bosses.

1) Don’t Do Drama.

People have a penchant for creating drama. Some even go as far as to fan the flames. But if you really want to be done with the issue, I say don’t make a big deal out of it.

There’s no need for you to tell the whole world about how you think what happened was unfair or how ridiculous the whole concept is. It’s that simple.

If a co-worker rubbed you the wrong way today, don’t let it get to you too much. Maybe he’s just having a bad day. Maybe he just heard some really bad news. Let it slide. Let it go.

Unless another person’s behavior is really affecting your work, ignore it and go on with your life. After all, resolving conflict in the workplace starts with you.

2) Cut to the Chase.

If the conflict you’re facing cannot be ignored, then talk privately with the person in question.

If you’re dealing with a superior, schedule an appointment with him. Find out what the problem is and figure out a way to get through it together. Be the professional that you are and don’t let your emotions get too much spotlight.

Resolving conflict in the workplace has a tendency to become heated, so keep your cool. It won’t help you gain better ground if you start pulling at your co-worker’s hair.

3) Unite Under One Goal.

It might be difficult for you to see this at first, given that your mind might be clouded by emotions; but nothing makes two enemies work together than a common goal.

For example, if you’re working on a project with a person you dislike, you still have to work together because you have a deadline to meet and a client who is waiting to pay. This brings about a sense of unity or teamwork, which could set aside any argument or misunderstanding.

Resolving conflict in the workplace does not have to be a long process. All you need to do is to avoid making drama, avoid stalling, and find a common goal that you and the other person can share.

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