Disagreements and misunderstandings occur often at work. What can you do to resolve a conflict at the workplace so that you can have peace of mind to give off your best?
Think About What Happened
Think about all the different things you can do to solve the problem. Write them down and also write down what you feel you did which contributed to the conflict. Consider what you can do to change your attitude towards your colleague even if he refuses to change, and resolve to settle the dispute.
Get to Know Why the Person Did It
Do not assume that the person you are angry with knows he or she has hurt you. Extroverts for example are normally oblivious to the effect of their words or actions on others.
Therefore, in a polite manner and in a calm voice, ask your coworker why he or she did what they did. Try to understand the reason behind that person’s action. It will give you insight into the situation, which may make you stop being angry with your colleague and make you more willing to fix the conflict in the workplace.
If you cannot find time to find out in the office, invite your colleague during lunch, or after close of work to discuss the issue.
Try to Know What is Going on in Their Personal Life
Some people find it difficult to handle internal conflict or personal issues. One of the ways they try to cope is to take out their frustrations on other people. Your colleague may be showing belligerence towards you as a result of issues he or she may be dealing with at home or in their neighborhood.
Therefore, find out if your coworker is having problems in his marriage, or having issues with his family or neighbors. This will help you to put his emotions in proper perspective and you will understand him better and approach him with empathy, instead of being confrontational.
Reason with Your Colleague
Let your colleague see why it is important for both of you to compromise and settle the conflict. Impress on him the fact that the conflict could affect the focus and productivity of both of you, and remind him this could lead to a query for both of you, a demotion, or a sack.
When your colleague shows a desire to resolve the conflict, compliment him immediately. Let him see you appreciate the sacrifice he is making. This is a good way to handle a conflict at work. It may motivate him further to make some concessions and let go of his hard stance.
You need to be humble if you want to resolve a conflict situation at work. Do not push all the blame for the conflict on your colleague. There may be something you may have done wrong which caused your co-worker to react the way he did. Acknowledge your contribution to the conflict and apologize for it. It may touch the heart of your co-worker and make him let go of his anger. Consequently, he may also admit his faults, which will help to bring peace.
Ask your colleague to suggest ways to solve the dispute. It will take pressure off you and may flatter him into thinking he is in charge, which may make him more willing to make peace.
Do Your Best to Remain Calm
Letting hot anger, wrath, or resentment take hold of your heart will make it impossible for you to talk things over with your colleague. Remind yourself that you are not enemies but work colleagues with just a disagreement.
Do your best not to argue or respond in harsh tones when he or she criticizes you, or is aggressive. Agree with his criticisms. This will create the proper atmosphere for a possible discussion to take place, and is the best way to resolve a conflict at work with a coworker.
Try to focus your mind on settling the dispute, on trying to resolve the conflict constructively in the workplace, and not on trying to let everybody see that your colleague is to blame for the conflict.
Resolve Workplace Conflict Through Mediation
Sometimes it is difficult to resolve a conflict at the workplace because the two parties involved may not find common ground to resolve the issues involved. If you find yourself in such a situation, first consult a friend of the colleague you have a problem with, one you know he trusts and respects in the office.
If this action does not yield positive results, then talk to your co-worker’s wife, husband, or lover. Try to make them use their influence over this person to get him to try and co-operate.
Then consult one of your supervisors or bosses you trust and respect. Tell him or her about the issue and how it is affecting your ability to work to your fullest potential.
Finally, seek the assistance of a relative of your co-worker if all attempts to make peace fail.