Five tips on how you can avoid workplace conflict.
Are you struggling with workplace conflict? Workplace conflict can create so much stress, that it can give you a loss of sleep. It has an impact on your health.
So in this article, I’m going to share with you five tips on how you can avoid workplace conflict. Now, on that note, let’s get to those five tips on how to avoid workplace conflict.
Be willing to listen when confronted.
In the perfect world, no one will be confronting you because everyone is professional. You’re going to do things perfectly and set things up so to have really good one-on-one conversations whenever there’s conflict, that’s a method to it. But unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to do it and as a result, they confront you.
The key thing for you is to take a step back, listen, see what they have to say, take a deep breath. If you get to know that they’re being respectful, even though they may be raising their voice, allow them to finish their thought, and then bring in the calmness and repeat what they said and see if you can get it past the conflict.
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Now, on a side note, if they are not being respectful, you have every right to end that conversation because you don’t have to listen to that stuff. You can say, “Look, when you calm down, I’m happy to chat with you but please don’t talk to me in that way.”
So for sure, ensure that you’re available to listen but on sort of the level that’s important to you.
Be considerate of the workplace office space.
So, if you make a mess, clean it up. Don’t leave tons of food, particularly old food, in the fridge. If you’re in a meeting room and you’re using it and you’re now leaving, ensure that you take your coffee cups and anything else that belongs to you out of there. Make sure you leave it neat and clean for the next group of people who are coming in.
These small little things are just considerations for your other team members and other colleagues. Just to ensure that again, when they come in, there’s not going to be conflict, “You don’t do this,” and “Their stuff is in the fridge constantly.”
Because those little things can get on people’s nerves. So just clean up after yourself. It’s really simple, and very respectful as well.
Acknowledge others and be positive.
Now, this is interesting because you’re like, “what do you mean? I’m positive.” But you’ll be surprised. Walking to the office, you may have something on your mind, you get right into your office setting in your desk, but you bypass people without saying hi, you didn’t smile because you’re so preoccupied.
Sometimes people take offense to that, sometimes they even take it personally. That’s not about you, it’s about them because they should get over it. You’re busy, you’re focused. Do you have to stop and be nice to every single person? Sometimes, yeah. Sometimes taking that step back and when you walk in, you may have something on your mind, but really, you pass by someone, “Hey, Jane, how are you? I hope you had a nice day.”
Those simple little things can make someone else’s day. If you’re making someone else’s day feel better, it’s a trickle effect and you’re just going to have a more positive working environment. It’s also going to reduce conflicts or worse yet, assumptions or misconceptions about why you didn’t say hi to them which can go on forever and just create other political issues.
Stay away from water cooler gossip.
Gossip is the number one killer of relationships and the number one contributor to a lot of workplace conflict. So it’s something you want to stay away from with a 10-foot pole.
So if you happen to be in a conversation that leads to gossip, kindly excuse yourself. If you’re looking for some more tips. But it is something that is like, do not do, do not touch, don’t go there.
It’s negative, it is only going to hurt you, it is not going to help you. And it is not worth it for the few seconds of titillation that you get from hearing that gossip.
Immediately address conflict.
So, like my first tip, you don’t want to go. I mean, address the elephant in the room, address conflict that is occurring, nip it in the bud. There are a lot of great respectful ways to do that.
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Keep yourself very cool, calm, and collected, and just share with the individual. If something is popping up, just say “Hey, you know what? Can we just talk about this for a minute? I’ve noticed the way you said this, it feels like I’m being attacked.” Or, “The way that this is happening, I think it’s going to create conflict for this other department”.
However, you want to do it but address it. Pretending that you didn’t hear it is not going to help it, it’s only going to fester and grow. So I recommend, addressing conflict immediately.
That elephant in the room, everybody knows it’s there, don’t think that they don’t. Also, have the courage to do it. It’s going to make you stand out as a leader and grow in your career, that’s definitely what you want.