How to Resolve Conflicts at Work?

Conflicts at work can be counterproductive and may cause a lot of stress. Look at the following tips to learn how to handle them.

1- Decide if you want to confront the person who is bothering you.

2- Speak to the other person calmly, politely and rationally. Focus on the situation and facts, avoiding gossip and personal attacks.

3- Be careful not to express hostility in your posture, facial expression or tone. Be assertive without being aggressive.

4- Listen to the other person carefully: What is she trying to say? Be sure you understand her position.

5- Express interest in what the other person is saying. You can acknowledge her ideas without necessarily agreeing or submitting. Saying, “I understand that you feel this way. Here’s how I feel…” pleases both positions.

6- Communicate clearly what you want, offering positive suggestions and recommendations. Be willing to be flexible.

7- Speak to your supervisor if a problem with a difficult co-worker seriously threatens your work, but avoid complaining a lot.

Tips & Warnings

  • Deal with problematic personalities by trying to understand what motivates their behavior, then adapting your actions to work with that personality type. Once you get why people behave as they do, you will be able to interact with them more effectively.
  • For example, be firm with bullies at work: don’t allow them to pressure you into doing anything unwanted. Be forceful in your opinions, but be careful.
  • Around complainers, avoid acting too sympathetic if you feel their complaints don’t make much sense; instead, ask what sorts of actions they plan to take to change the situation. Try to find out what they want.

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