It’s not if a conflict will happen at your work, it’s when. Even the most civil work environments harvest up a few disagreements now and then. The trick is to not let them totally blow up and cause you to have friction with a coworker or your boss.
Resolving work conflicts can be different than ones you’d patch up with your BFF or significant other. They require tact and strategizing to make sure everyone communicates effectively and can compromise with each other. Also, bear in mind you probably won’t win every fight and that’s ok…. We promise!
Get On It
Handling a conflict sooner, rather than later is essential. Sure, you may need a cooling-off period depending on the issue but discussing it and attempting to reach a solution by or before the next work day is key. Otherwise, you risk growing more and more upset or other people may get involved which isn’t necessary. Make this a priority.
Talk It Out
If the issue is small enough, talk it out with your coworker in person. Grab coffee or take a walk outside of the office and discuss the issue at hand. Don’t have this discussion via text or email. While technology is great, a discussion or even a simple phrase can be taken out of context. We’re all adults here. Have a good old fashioned chat and see if you can both come to a fair resolution.
According to krauthammer the best type of language to use during a conflict is “giraffe language”. But what the heck is that? Giraffe language refers to the giraffe being the animal with the biggest heart and a long neck to see things on both sides equally and clearly; “the giraffe stands for compassionate communication”. Using this type of “non-violent” language will make your discussion more “unifying” instead turning it into a full-blown fight.
Call On The Boss
Remember in your interview when you told the boss you were “great at communicating and resolving conflict”? This is your chance to use those skills! Try and exhaust all other options of communication with your coworker before going to your superior; unless this is a serious issue, then go straight to your superior. But if the issue is minimal, talk it out with them instead of adding one more thing to your boss’s plate.
xx, The FabFitFun Team