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How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace

How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace

Dealing with conflict in the workplace can be a delicate and nerve-racking situation. In fact, the thought of confronting conflict will make some people cringe. But what many people don’t know is how to approach and deal with a dreadful situation effectively and with office etiquette.

 

Dealing with conflict in the workplace can be a delicate and nerve-racking situation. In fact, the thought of confronting conflict will make some people cringe. But what many people don’t know is how to approach and deal with a dreadful situation effectively and with office etiquette.

 

Situation: You are a sales representative assigned to New Jersey territory in Bayonne, Bound Brook, Belleville, and Ocean County. The newest member of your sales team is assigned to the Elizabeth and Jersey City territory and mistakenly makes a sale in Bayonne. How are you going to handle the situation?

 

Agree to Disagree

Your office is probably a very positive work environment where people work as a team. But that doesn’t mean occasional conflict won’t arise. Accept that you are not going to always see eye-to-eye with everyone all the time. Different opinions contribute to company growth. Just don’t let your die-hard opinions stand in the way of your own career.

 

Don’t over react

Maintain your composure. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and be understanding. You never know who could be watching. If you know a promotion to the Long Island or Manhattan office is likely, use this opportunity to your advantage and show you can handle conflict fairly and with poise.

 

Think before you speak

Be respectful and careful not to offend anyone with irrational comments, gestures, or accusations. Good office etiquette includes keeping your voice at a permissible level not to disturb anyone else working. You should avoid jumping to conclusions and choose an appropriate time to speak with your coworker to resolve the issue. Handle the situation as soon as possible; however, if your coworker is also managing a territory between Danbury, Litchfield, and Stamford, Connecticut, then it is probably best to wait until he returns to the office before speaking with him.

 

Handle people differently

Your office is most likely made up of diverse people of different races, cultures, and gender. Therefore, you need to address each individual in a separate manner. Acknowledge that an individual from Burlington, Vermont or Portland, Maine is accustomed to a different lifestyle than those in Bronx, Brooklyn/Queens, New City, and New York, New York. Speak to individuals the way you would prefer to be spoken to. Set a positive example through kindness.

 

Communicate like an adult and play nice

Childish behavior is not tolerated in the office. Be prepared to listen. Throw the “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality out the window. Always strive to work as a team, resolve problems as a team and be open to your coworkers’ ideas and suggestions. And yes, be sensitive to their feelings as well. Make sure to communicate in person instead of through electronic devices. So many times a comment can get misconstrued or misinterpreted through email or text message, created additional drama.

 

Be flexible

When a confrontational situation presents itself, do your best to maintain a possible attitude and stay solution-oriented. You may be firm on your stance or you may be willing to negotiate; either way, you should look for common ground with your colleague.

 

Don’t tattle-tale

Do your best to handle the problem with your contender before going to upper management. Your boss probably doesn’t have the time nor does he have the patience to sort out issues between the two of you. Plus, it’s in your best interest to keep your office drama out of your boss’ view.

 

Avoid gossip

Stay away from the rumor mill at all costs. If you over hear discussions about a company expansion to cities in Massachusetts, such as Andover, Boston, Brockton, Woburn, and Worcester, give your company president the satisfaction of sharing the great news before you go making a grand announcement with inaccurate information.

 

Make peace

Right or wrong; it does not matter. Apologize the situation occurred and show regard for the other person to get things moving forward. Think about the future. Do you want things to be awkward between the two of you at the holiday party in Concord or while on the business trip to Dover, New Hampshire?

 

In the event the situation is a challenging subject and you feel the need to speak with your supervisor, do so in a manor not to put the other person down. Inform your supervisor of the situation and offer suggestions of resolution. You may request to be transferred from your company’s headquarters in Pittsburgh to the new location in Philadelphia, or offer to provide extra help on an on-site job in King of Prussia. Each situation of conflict likely needs to be addressed to a different department head. Nonetheless, you may feel more comfortable talking to your human resource manager instead of your immediate sales manager.

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