How to avoid conflict at work?

Posted on: September 1, 2008

Conflicts at work are inevitable. Conflicts at work usually occur when an individual or a group of colleagues fail to attain what they want while seeking for their own self interest. Although inevitable, conflicts at work can be minimized or resolved. Poor communication, weak leadership or lack of team spirit triggers conflicts and difference in opinions among employees or coworkers. Conflicts at work can be destructive when it leads to harmful or abusive behavior like fighting or name calling and steer away attention from more important and crucial matters, polarizes employees into warring groups, thus reducing team spirit and sharpening rifts and differences. Workplace decorum and sanctity are quite essential for the daily functioning of the company and its employees. There has to be a certain standard of workspace etiquette that needs to be maintained and each employee must learn how to deal or avoid conflict at their workspace.

The most simple and result proving technique is to keep your mouth zipped and bite your tongue before a provocative remark comes out of your mouth and you find yourself involved in a fight. Always learn to think before you speak. It is better off thinking through your words rather than voicing them. Arguing can only make a situation worse. So if your manager, employee or coworker needs to express their feelings, learn to listen rather than dispute it. Try and put yourself in their shoes and understand their predicament. Also learn to create boundaries and set limits in your workspace. Don’t over cross them and still be cordial with everyone. If you are smart and want to climb the success ladder, strategize and assess your gains and losses in the situation. Also never try to change your coworkers. Allow them to be themselves and accept that you cannot change them.

Carlos Todd, LPC


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