5 Tips to Defuse Conflict in the Workplace

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Conflict is all around us, no matter where we go. It’s people fighting for the closest parking spot to the front at the grocery store. It’s two friends arguing where to eat for lunch. It’s passive-aggressive glances when your coworker walks in late. Conflict, while unavoidable, can be helped through some easy techniques that you can implement in your daily work life. 

First, let’s start off with what conflict is. Conflict can range from a small difference in opinion all the way to two people not being able to be in the same room with one another. I am sure all of us have been in some sort of conflict in our lifetime and I, for one, am not a fan of it. Not all conflict can be harmful, but regardless, it will happen and it is imperative to know how to deal with it when it comes along, especially in the workplace. 

How should you deal with conflict in the workplace?

  1. Be on the lookout. 

I know this may sound easy, but it can be harder than you may think. When you start to notice alarming behavior from one of your coworkers, address it before the conflict gets out of hand. 

  1. Assess the situation. 

Just because you assume a conflict may be rising, don’t assert yourself in like you know best. Before you go saving the day, know the facts. Make sure you have a grasp on the real situation before you address the conflict. 

  1. Listen to both sides. 

We all know people can exaggerate when they are heated or in a difficult situation. Once you hear the other side of the story, you might realize the conflict is just one-sided, or it was all taken out of context. 

  1. Encourage compromise. 

The whole point of addressing a conflict is to ultimately end in a resolution. This step might take a little bit of prying, since people can really be set in their ways and want the resolution to go their way. However, once you can find common ground, a compromise becomes a more attainable goal. 

  1. Be positive. 

Moving forward can be difficult after a big fight. Make sure all is resolved before this stage and then make a point to be positive and encouraging to the other party. Treat the other person in a positive manner. The conflict is resolved, so there is no need for bad blood anymore! 

It is pretty much impossible to go through life without experiencing some sort of conflict, especially when working with so many different types of people in an office setting. Hopefully you can take some of these tips and apply it to your workplace! 

 

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