When it comes to your work, there is nothing more important to you and your business than talking through problems with others on your team. But what happens when talking about problems doesn’t solve them and you feel that other members of your team are working against you? When this happens, the situation can quickly get out of hand as negative feelings start to build up. Learning how to handle these situations can be tough, but it’s key for the success of any business. So, here are some ways to address conflicts within the workplace:
One of the most important things you can do to resolve conflict in the workplace is not take it personally. Yes, you may be responsible for some of the problems on your team, but chances are good that they aren’t all about you. In fact, it’s highly likely that at least some of them have nothing to do with you at all.
So when things get ugly and tension fills the air like smoke from a wildfire, try to remember that everyone needs to take a big step back and look at this objectively—it definitely won’t help anyone if emotions get in the way here!
In order to address conflict in the workplace, you must be able to:
- Discuss the problem head on and calmly. Don’t let it fester or get worse.
- Stay professional, even if your colleague’s behavior is not. If you’re working in a hostile environment, try to maintain your dignity while still getting your point across.
- Keep things focused on what needs to be done that day; don’t let them get too personal or out of control
- Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them. Having clear and fair expectations helps people understand what they need to do, which leads to better results and a more productive workplace.
- Have the expectations in writing. This will help ensure consistency and eliminate any potential confusion about what’s expected of employees.
- Make sure the expectations are clear, fair, realistic and achievable. For example: “I expect my interns to complete a certain number of projects every week.” isn’t realistic because it doesn’t take into account time constraints or vacation days; “I expect my interns to complete two projects each week,” however, is much more realistic (and manageable) because it takes into account time constraints and vacation days—and gives interns something reasonable that they can achieve on their own without having someone watch over them constantly or micromanage every aspect of their job responsibilities
Remember that it’s not about you as a person. There are many reasons why a conflict may arise in the workplace, but they’re rarely personal. Most conflicts stem from miscommunication or misunderstanding. Whatever the reason, remember that you are not your coworker’s problem; they have their own problems to deal with and yours is probably not one of them! It takes two to tango so don’t take it personally when someone treats you badly at work.
- Don’t create a combative environment yourself. This can be difficult, especially when you’re feeling upset and are tempted to lash out at everyone else. But it’s important that you do not engage in gossip or other destructive behavior. You don’t want to be known as the person who is always complaining or looking for a fight—especially if your boss is one of the people who has been contributing to your stress!
- Remember: You have power over yourself—and no one else can take away that power but you. It might seem easier just to let go and let anger control how you feel about everything around you, but once we’ve decided something like that about ourselves, it becomes much harder (and sometimes impossible) to change our ways of interacting with others going forward
If you find yourself in the middle of a workplace conflict, take some time to think through how best to approach it. You don’t need to come right out and say what is bothering you—sometimes it can be better just to talk about your feelings instead of directly addressing the person causing them. Consider your options:
- Don’t gossip about them behind their back. If someone else asks how things are going with this employee, offer an honest answer without revealing any information that could hurt their reputation or undermine their authority in any way.
- Don’t gossip about them directly at work or after work hours (or during work hours). If there is anything negative going on between two coworkers, avoid saying anything about it in front of others until everyone has had an opportunity for open dialogue with each other. Once everyone feels heard from both sides, then go ahead and discuss it openly with others who may be able to help resolve the issue—but always try not too bring up something negative when there is no resolution yet!
- Figure out what your boundaries are, know them and stick to them. If you don’t know what your boundaries are, then you can’t stick to them.
- If you don’t know what your boundaries are, you don’t know what you’re willing to do and what you’re not willing to do.
You can work with difficult people without sacrificing your own well-being or the well-being of your business.
As the leader of your business, you’re the one who has to deal with difficult people. It’s tempting to just avoid them or give them a stern talking-to, but that rarely gets results.
Instead, you need to face these challenges head on by understanding how to deal with difficult people and protect your business culture at the same time.
If you’re ever having trouble at work, remember that it’s not necessarily about you. It’s about their feelings and your feelings and how they collide. Try to be calm and address the problem head-on, but don’t take it personally.