In a perfect world, you’d get along well with all of your co-workers, but in the real world, things rarely work out this way. Miscommunication and hurt feelings will eventually cause issues. The key is to resolve the conflict before it gets out of hand or progresses into a larger problem down the road.
Acknowledge Your Co-Worker’s Story
Arguments can quickly escalate if both parties are unable to see and acknowledge each other’s point of view. In the heat of an argument, step back and listen to your co-worker’s side of the story. Acknowledge his viewpoint, and repeat his story back to him to be sure that you understand where he’s coming from.
Settle Arguments Before They Fester
Do your best to settle disagreements early on before they have a chance to fester and grow into larger problems. Try talking things through to see if you can resolve your differences as quickly as possible.
Have an Open Mind
Co-workers may not always see things the way you do. If you find yourself in conflict with a co-worker, try to see things from his perspective. Simply listening to the other person’s perspective is sometimes enough to resolve the conflict.
Determine the Cause of the Conflict
Take a step back and examine, honestly, the source of the conflict. Did you contribute to the situation? What did your co-worker say or do that upset you? Look at the situation earnestly and from an unbiased perspective to pinpoint the main source of the conflict.
Don’t Point Fingers
Casting blame can make conflicts even more difficult to resolve. Rather than pointing fingers and making “you” statements, instead, try to offer specific examples of why you’re feeling the way you do.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you and your co-worker have tried to resolve the conflict but just can’t seem to come to an agreement, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to someone from human resources or a manager to mediate the situation.
Put the Issue behind You
Once a conflict is resolved, put it behind you. Refrain from bringing the issue up in the future. Simply shake on it, and it let it go. If you want, you can discuss how you would handle the same situation in the future.
Conflict management skills can be a tremendous help in your career. The more people you can work with and get along with, the greater your chances will be of being promoted.
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