I mean, it’s impossible to like everyone, and conflict with a coworker is completely inevitable. Inter-office spats can range from mild (them helping themselves to your mug) to major (them helping themselves to your pitch and reaping the benefits). For the most part, you’re able to talk it out and settle it like adults. But we’ve all been in a situation when someone takes things a bit too seriously, and before you know it they’re making dagger-eyes at you from across the office. It’s hard not to notice, and, of course, makes the workplace a pretty awful place to be. In the interest of both parties keeping their sanity, we’ve compiled a how-to guide on resolving conflict with a coworker.
Talk Outside of the Office
Go around the corner for a coffee. Chat during a cigarette break. It’s hard to have the ‘ok, let’s talk about it’ talk anywhere, but it’s worse within the confines of your workplace. No doubt, you’re going to have more than a few greedy ears trying to suck up the office gossip and break up the monotony of their Tuesday afternoon. Talk somewhere with a mild amount of privacy, to ease both parties.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
More often then not, you’ll find yourself getting emotional in times of any conflict. It’s even harder when you pair that with the stress and pressure that your workplace can bring. It’s important to remember that literally nothing good will come from you hulking out on your coworker and verbally barraging them. As frustrating as they may be, if they start raising their voice, keep yours down. If you need, ask for a couple of minutes away to arrange your thoughts and not say or do anything too rash.
Listen as Much as You Talk
Just try and keep in mind that as slighted as you are feeling, they are probably feeling in equal measure. Calmly explain your side of the argument, and listen as they explain theirs. If you find yourself merely listening and nodding your head vacantly, waiting for them to stop talking so you can continue with your crusade, stop! It! Don’t do that. Listen actively, and remember that everything they are saying, like what you say, is valid.
Keep Things in Perspective
Like it or not, you’re probably going to be seeing them on an everyday basis for the foreseeable future. Don’t make things awful for yourself: make sure to view things in the longterm. Does it feel good to experience the instant gratification that verbally cutting a despised coworker brings? Sure, but it isn’t going to make things any easier for you later. Think big picture. This person only occupies a small amount of your time physically, so don’t let them consume you mentally.
Thank Them for Compromise
When you eventually come to a compromise, acknowledge that the situation was hard for the both of you, and that you managed to come out the other side with more clarity. You don’t have to be their best mate, and no one’s expecting that you start becoming friends that hang out and go to yoga during your lunch breaks. But appreciate the fact that you worked through the discomfort of the situation together.
Sometimes, you’ll come across immature people who don’t want to get along. You’ll reach out, wanting to resolve the conflict, and they rebuff every advance. In this case, you work with a grade A asshole and that is beyond your control. Avoid them like the plague. God speed.
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