Every office has a culture that is very specific to the organization. This culture is made up several variables including the sum of its values, traditions, interactions, etc. One of the biggest contributors to a workplace culture is the people who work there. The thing about people is, they have varying personality types. While this often can cultivate an office space that benefits from the different perspectives, conflict may also arise. It is difficult to distinguish your coworkers from your friends as you spend close to 40 hours a week with them, and attachments are bound to be made. However, when a conflict happens within the office it can be a delicate issue to address as it affects friendships and work relationships, but also could lead to a decrease in office performance. With that being said, you may can see why it is important to deflate any tension. Below are a few simple but effective communications tips to ensure you navigate the negativity like a pro.
Be Objective, B-E Objective
Everyone in the office is working towards a higher company goal, but as mentioned previously, it is hard not to have your “work friends” merge into your personal life. Due to this fact it can often be hard to take off those subjective lenses and be objective. However, it is vital that you do. Don’t get caught up in the subjectivity of the conflict, look at the hard facts of what has happened and focus on those when deciding how to approach your coworker. This is an effective way to make sure the problems are work-related and the lines of work and personal are not being blurred due to a relationship that you may have outside of the office.
Say It Out Loud
You do spend every day with these individuals, when a conflict arises you need to be able to put out the fire quickly. Approach them immediately and privately about the matter at hand. This is an easy way to ensure that those little grievances don’t fester causing everyone a very awkward workday.
Simple and straightforward enough, yes? However, it still needed to be said. When you don’t deal with your coworker directly you risk entering the dangerous snowball effect. When you allow conflict to build over time, it no longer is a quiet problem that you can deal with effectively and quickly. Instead, it becomes a much larger problem for not only you, but also the other coworkers you have chosen to involve.
Know When to Phone a Manager
Typically, you want to try and resolve the matter between yourselves, however there are situations where it becomes vital to notify HR or your superior if the offense takes a more aggressive tone. Be smart with your problem-solving skills, and use this only as a last resort when you feel like you and the opposing party still aren’t seeing eye-to-eye and it’s affecting your daily productivity.
Learning how to be better communicator in the workplace can benefit you regardless of the time you have put in at any job. Learning how to effectively deal with conflict in the workplace can go a long way not only with the other coworker, but for the entire office. Dealing with the situation appropriately encourages a higher employee morale as well as increased productivity. As much no one wants conflict, sometimes it does happen, and being prepared for it can make you a much better team player and overall employee.